Freshman influx doubling size of West Salem co-op gymnastics

The West Salem-Bangor-Aquinas co-op begins a new season this week, and head coach Carrie O’Hearn is really looking ahead to some normalcy.

That’s because last year quarantine knocked out four of their meets, so her team had just three meets leading up to State.

This year it’s a full schedule with five weeks of preseason practice. The co-op also has numbers on its side–from 11 kids last year to 23 this winter, many of whom are freshmen. With five starting varsity spots each meet, it means more competition, but to this team, the more the merrier.

“I know that some of the girls have competed before, but most people haven’t,” senior Naveyah Simmons said.

“It’s a great opportunity because a lot of these people are gymnasts who’ve been in other programs, and now they can come here and grow with our coaches, as well,” said senior McKenna Stoll.

“I think you form a lot more connections with people,” senior Emily Miller added, “and you get fired up more at meets, having a bigger team to cheer and get louder.”

The team opens its season Thursday at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln.