Jefferson Gymnastics team celebrates senior night


Photo courtesy of the Jefferson Colonials Instagram

Seniors Navya Vargese (left) and Lisa Raj Singh (right) receive flowers and gift baskets at senior night.

Nivika Gandhi, Staff Writer

On Friday, Jan. 15, the Jefferson Girls Gymnastics team had their 3rd meet of the season, competing against Yorktown, Langley, and Thomas Edison High School. Although they no longer partake in awards due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the team had one of their best competitions yet on beam as well as high scores on floor and vault.

Friday was also Senior Night. This is one of the biggest traditions of Jefferson Girls Gymnastics, and it takes place on the night of the last home meet of the season. Traditionally, the seniors are walked out by a friend or parent, and underclassmen give them posters and gifts as a sendoff from high school gymnastics. Navya Vargese, a current senior who has been competing with the team since her freshman year, shared her feelings on this year’s Senior Night.

“It was normal in the sense that we still did most of the things we always do at Senior Night, but usually there are more people watching our meets and I could have invited my friends too. The seasons changed a little bit, but I just really wanted to have my senior and compete for the last time because I don’t think I’ll be competing in gymnastics ever again,” Vargese said.

Although Senior Night wasn’t exceptionally different from previous years, practices and meets have seen many changes. Because of new guidelines, masks are mandatory at all times, even while competing.

Additionally, the season is nearly half as long as a regular school year, resulting in practices being devoted to regaining old skills rather than learning new ones. Lexi Skeen, a junior who has been involved with the team since her sophomore year, talked more about how meets are being affected.

“The meets are very different. They are a lot smaller, and everything goes a little bit slower because we have to disinfect all the equipment. The order in which we do things has changed. Normally, we warm up on all the events and then compete. Now we do each individual event.
You warm up and then compete. There’s also fewer judges, so that changes things a little bit in terms of scoring,” Skeen said.

A captain of the team, Skeen has done club gymnastics previously, and is currently competing with the Jefferson gymnastics team for her second season. Despite having a smaller team than usual, she’s choosing to see the brighter side of the current situation.

“I think that a lot of the reason people join gymnastics is for the social aspect and because it’s really fun. We’re a pretty tight knit community, and in some ways, we’re closer this year because it’s an even smaller team and people couldn’t come out due to COVID. But it’s sad that we’re not able to sort of socialize and be as big of a group as normal,” Skeen said.