'Annual welcome home party' honors gymnasts
A welcome home party for the Mitchell High School gymnastics team is becoming routine. After Mitchell captured its third-straight gymnastics state title Friday, about 100 members of the Mitchell community gathered Monday in the high school's audi...
A welcome home party for the Mitchell High School gymnastics team is becoming routine.
After Mitchell captured its third-straight gymnastics state title Friday, about 100 members of the Mitchell community gathered Monday in the high school's auditorium for the "third annual welcome home party," as Mitchell Activities Director Geoff Gross called it.
Kernels head coach Audra Rew introduced each gymnast from this year's team to the audience and listed their accomplishments from the season. She also touched on Quinci Herll's all-around individual title from Saturday, as the senior finished atop the individual standings.
"What else can I say?" Rew said. "Quinci absolutely amazed me with her composure on the individual day. I tried to stay away from her, because the worst thing you can do is over-coach. She knew what she needed to do. Every event, I sat back in awe and said, 'How is she doing it?' In the end, all of her hard work from everything she put into the sport paid her back."
Meanwhile, when it was Herll's turn to address the audience, the gymnast thanked her teammates for all the time she's been able to spend with them and for making the hard days easier.
"We have been through so many things, good and bad, and there's no other group of girls that I'd want to do it with," Herll said. "It's crazy that this is my last season with you, and I look forward to seeing all the amazing things you accomplish in the future."
After Herll concluded her speech, Emily Prill, who won the individual title in the beam event, thanked the Kernels' coaching staff for putting the gymnastics team in a position to win.
"Thank you for teaching us everything we know from all things gymnastics to life lessons about who we are," said Prill, one of two seniors on the team. "Audra, you have no idea how much we appreciate you. You push us to our full potential even when we thought we had nothing left. You've been pushing us since we were young, and we might not seem like we're grateful, but we are."
Other team members spoke on topics ranging from farewells to Herll and Prill, how hard it is to accomplish three state titles in a row and defending the Kernels' winning streak that dates back almost three years.
After the team concluded speaking, the gymnasts presented Rew with a bracelet as a symbol of their gratitude, and thanked their parents and the Mitchell community members for their support.