After finishing less than two points shy of a state championship at last year’s state meet, the Free State High gymnastics team is back and has its sights set on moving its way to the top.
At noon today in Newton, the Firebirds and several other Class 6A schools will twist, tumble and trot their way through the 2009 state meet at Newton High.
For Free State, which is among the favorites to take home the team title, today’s meet is more about unfinished business than anything else. Although the team is thrilled to be back in the big dance, the Firebirds won’t be satisfied with anything less than first place.
“I do think they want this, they really do,” FSHS coach Kathy Johnson said. “They were so close last year and they see it. They know that it’s possible for them.”
Senior Drue Davis and junior Kelcy Bowers will lead the Firebirds into battle. Both figure to challenge for the all-around individual title and they’ll be backed by senior Camille DuBos, juniors Aly Frydman and Lexi Gonzales, sophomores Jackie Soelter and Abbie McLean and freshman Brooke Leslie.
The fact that most of these girls have competed at state before only adds to the confidence they’re taking into today’s meet.
“It definitely helps,” Bowers said. “We know what the atmosphere’s like and we know what to expect.”