The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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Gymnastics named District Champions after sixteen years

Jennifer Woody
Holding up the hard-earned National District Championships banner, Jefferson’s gymnastics team poses for a picture. “We wanted to win districts for our senior captain, Lauren, so it was also very meaningful that we won this year. We bid her off with that and it was super cute,” freshman Aerin Bernstein said.

For the first time in sixteen years, Jefferson’s gymnastics team won the title of District Champions on Jan. 26. Having local competitions almost every week, the team has been intensely preparing for Districts since November.

“Districts was pretty similar to most of our meets,” freshman Aerin Bernstein said. “It was the same format, just higher stakes.” 

Before Districts, the team also competed in local competitions. For local competitions, team members chose whether or not they wanted to compete, as well as what events to do.

“My first time competing was completely on the spot because we didn’t have enough people to do beam. I was just like, ‘I can try that,’” Bernstein said. “Competing for the first time was scary but it’s chill after.”

However, for Districts, the team usually takes the highest scorers and the most advanced routines.

“The girls who were doing club practice would come and do their fulls on floors and some of the skills that they don’t do at regular high school competitions,” sophomore Anusha Agarwal said.

There was not only a lot of physical preparation involved before competing, but also mental.

“We did a lot of crazy math looking at all the old meet scores and teams, calculating how much we needed on each event to beat them,” Agarwal said.

Before the competition started, there were many different ways the team got ready.

“Everyone just kind of did their own thing. For some people, they really wanted to put in a lot of work for the meet and some just needed to chill before the meet,” junior Myra Clark said.

Throughout the competition, the team consistently showed support for one another.

“Even if you fall or if something doesn’t go as planned, everyone is still super encouraging and clapping for you. It’s a really nice atmosphere,” Clark said.

The final scores ended up being neck-and-neck, with Jefferson leading by a small margin. The team ended up beating Edison by just half a point.

“It meant that if one person would have fallen on beam one more time, we would have lost,” Bernstein said.

Overall, the competition was filled with high tension and suspense.

“Between [each] event, we were constantly looking at other teams and seeing what they got to try to figure out what we needed to get,” Agarwal said.

Still, the environment was always extremely positive, and the team found themselves creating lasting memories.

“It was a funny atmosphere because everyone was on the edge of their seats,” Bernstein said. “We were going to win together or lose together.”

On Feb 5., the team competed at Regionals. Although the gymnastics team did not make it to States, the team wrapped up their season with a great performance.

“I’m really proud of all of our hard work and achievements throughout this season,” Clark said.

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