Girls gymnastics springs back into action, prepares for rest of season

Varsity team welcomes three new coaches, strives for sectional qualifications


Ellie Dillon ’22 smiles as she performs gymnastics trick on bar at girls practice in NC gymnastics gym (Grefenstette/LION).

Aidan Wirtz, Sports Editor

The girls gymnastics team recently finished its fourth meet of the season, the Senior Night Intersquad, on Dec 17. at home. With the team being led by new head coach Brittany Milovanovic, they look forward to bonding and competing at a high level this season, Milovanovic said.

“My goal is to bring the program together as a whole and to support all levels at meets,” Milovanovic said. “I love to provide all level athletes with the tools necessary to succeed, and strengthen our presence with local gymnastic clubs.”

The team is already closely knit, as many of the girls, such as Emma Cassidy ‘22, have been gymnasts for multiple years. 

“I love how close the entire team is, and there is a very positive energy in the gym,” Cassidy said. “We do stuff outside the gym also, like pasta parties and team activities.”

Fellow gymnast Ellie Dillon ‘22, who’s been involved in the sport for 12 years, is one of the seniors in a leadership position on the team. The new coaches have been something for the team to adjust to, but they’ve been beneficial for the program, Dillon said.

“Coach Milo has been super supportive of the girls on the team,” Dillon said. “The new coaches fit right in, and it’s been an amazing season so far.”

Milovanovic and the other new coaches, Katie Gildea and Maggie McCarter, are all former gymnasts of LT as well. They bring experience and a work hard, play hard mindset to the team, Milovanovic said.

“We have been conditioning a lot this year, which is so important to progress in gymnastics,” Milovanovic said. “The team has been very open to all the new changes and have already shown great improvements.”

With their first four meets in the books, the girls will have four additional competitions before their conference showdown against rival Hinsdale Central on Jan. 29. The team anticipates adding more difficulty to their skills for these meets, Milovanovic said.

“We started the season strong, and we alternate between perfecting routines and working new skills as a team often,” Milovanovic said. “There are a few strong girls who can increase our team vault and bar starting values.

The gymnasts on the team, including Dillon and Cassidy, have also competed for various club programs, such as Flying High, Aerial, Gemini, and Action Gymnastics. Furthermore, some of the team’s gymnasts trained together before the season to improve their skills.

“A few other girls and I train at IGI gymnastics together,” Cassidy said. “There is a high school class a few nights a week, and it’s a fun way to practice with teammates in the off-season.”

IGI (Illinois Gymnastics Institute), is where Dillon did competitive gymnastics for 11 years. Being seniors now, Dillon and Cassidy are both reminiscent of memories from gymnastics, Dillon said.

“It feels like yesterday I tried out as a freshman to make the team,” Dillon said. “I want to make sure all the girls know they fit in on the team, and if they need anything at all, they can come to us.” 

Milovanovic aims to continue their success and team chemistry into the final meets, she said. Regionals will take place on Monday, Jan. 31, with the location yet to be determined.

“I am so excited to be a part of LT gymnastics again, but on the coaching side,” Milovanovic said. “I cannot wait to see if we have any qualifiers [at regionals] for sectionals or state.”