OPRF gymnasts advance to sectional competition

In a season dominated by newcomers, the gymnastics team finished its season with an impressive farewell. The team was led by freshmen Evelyn Dellegrazie and Iriel Conley, as well as first-year competitor and junior Hannah Thompson, who came to the high school team after several years with Legacy Elite Gymnastics. The combined efforts of these three gymansts as well as several upperclassmen qualified the team for the competitive Lake Park Sectional with an outstanding score of 141.3 at the regional competition.

The regional meet included Dellegrazie, Conley, and Thompson qualifying as all-around competitors along with junior Zion Phillpotts advancing on vault and junior Sophia Preys qualifying on the uneven parallel bars.

“It really was our best meet of the season,” Thompson said.

“Regionals was an incredible combination of our all-arounds pounding their events and the specialists coming forward as true superstars,” assistant coach Bill Grosser added.

Despite the successful performance at regionals, the sectional competition yielded only one state qualifier. Thompson qualified for the state finals in both the uneven parallel bars and vault. “We were good at sectionals, but we weren’t great,” Grosser said. “To advance, we needed to be great.”

Thompson’s performance at the state competition earned her a seventh place finish in the final competition for bars and 18th place in the preliminary qualification round for vault. “It was incredibly nerve wracking, being at state, but it was incredible to be competing against such talented people,” she said. “Overall, I was really happy with my performance, and now that I’ve been to the state meet, I have a much better understanding of what I need to do to place higher next season.”

Thompson’s not the only one looking ahead—Grosser said he believes that the Huskies could qualify for state as a team next year. “I really think we have a good shot next year,” Grosser said. “This is the hardest working team I’ve seen in my seven years of coaching, and I know they have what it takes.”