A Rough And Tumble Group

Gymnasts Jump Through All Sorts of Hoops To Win!


Mary Grace Lindholm, Writer

Athletes encounter a world of pain: The muscle aches and bruises. The torn ACLs and broken bones.

Everyone knows about the hard work that athletes put into their sports. And, students keep up with every facet of their school’s football, soccer, and basketball teams. But, what about those sports that are less recognized?

The Elkhart Gymnastics team has been around for a long time, experiencing a dynamic history of ups and downs along the way. In years past, the team was “big”—not just in size but also in notoriety—and constantly winning. But recently, experienced seniors have been graduating, and the number of replacements just isn’t there. This leaves the group small. But, don’t be fooled! This team might be the underdog at the moment, but these athletes are determined more than ever to win back their title as champions.

One of the key elements for a team’s success is its coach. Kathy (Dobson) Krauter, once a gymnast on Elkhart’s team herself, has now been coaching for 29 years. Her longevity with the program enables her to recall when Elkhart was a “power house” in most sports, and she had her hopes set high for returning to that level with the merger. That, however, is not going to happen. “Memorial doesn’t have a team,” Krauter explains, “so our talent pool isn’t doubling.” Thus, right now, it’s up to the current team to make a name for Elkhart High School.

Half of the existing team are seniors, who are working hardest of all to make their last year count. “They’ve been working really hard over the summer, getting themselves ready and prepared for what’s probably going to be a tough season,” admits Coach Kathy. However, each is prepared to pull her own weight.

All three seniors are competing in every event, which will be important for the team this season. It may look easy to those watching the sport, but gymnastics is brutal on the body, especially the older high schoolers whose bodies are not as resilient as they were just a few seasons earlier.

These seniors have been going to practices year round to ensure they stay in shape—and away from injuries—because they know the importance of everyone being able to compete this season. “I’ve pushed myself a lot this year and not just for myself but, more importantly, for the team,” declares one of the seniors, Mia Echartea. “Just working in the off-season makes all the difference.”

This team may be faced with a tough challenge, but they are determined to show what they’re made of and jump into a great season!