Viking alumna returns to coach gymnastics


Joanna Wyler

Shayla Anderson, the new head coach, instructs the gymnastics team at their practice location, Advantage Gymnastics in Woodinville, before their second meet the following day. Their second meet was on Tuesday, Dec 5. against Newport.

Jonah Austin, Webmaster

After competing as a Viking herself from 2008 to 2012, new head coach Shayla Anderson said she is excited to lead the gymnastics team this season.

Anderson started doing gymnastics when she was 4 years old and continued it all the way to her high school graduation. In her senior year she served as team captain. After high school, she quit gymnastics to pursue a double major in Elementary Education and Special Education at Central Washington University.

Tasked with coaching a team of 14 players — seven of whom are freshmen — Anderson said that she is focused on building team unity amongst this year’s group of gymnasts.

“We have a large group,” Anderson said. “Incorporating everyone, working together and being a team, even though gymnasts compete individually, is really important.”

In order to do this, Anderson said she is doing what her previous coaches had done. Specifically, treating all of the gymnasts equally and celebrating all of their accomplishments, despite their varying skill levels. Anderson also said her coaches have shown her what works for gymnasts to succeed.

“When we are on vault, it is important to have the gymnasts work on not only their vaulting itself but also multiple drills that work on body positioning and strengthening for that skill,” Anderson said. “With having two vaults for the gymnasts to vault on, it is essential to have drills, stations and conditioning going all at the same time to keep every gymnast’s body moving and working towards their vaulting skill.”

For this season, senior co-captain Leia Garey said she is focusing on building a better team atmosphere for everybody to get along.

“I want to see us really encouraging each other and building each other up as young women,” Garey said. “We need to be there for each other as much as we can.”

Senior Danielle Toman, the other co-captain of the team, sees this year as an opportunity to relax from her previous years of doing gymnastics through an outside club. She said that the years prior had been more stressful due to the highly competitive nature of her head coaches.

“I expect [this season] to be more like college: really energetic and more laid back than at a club,” Toman said.

Freshman Allie McCune is coming onto the team this year after having taken a break from the sport for a few months. McCune quit gymnastics in June of last year after having been doing it since she was 2 years old. She came back this year to be a part of the high school team and she said that, so far, it has been exciting for her.

“I’ve done stuff that I’ve been scared to do,” McCune said. “It kinda shows me what this atmosphere is like and that it’s something that I probably want to keep doing through high school.”

Despite a loss to Woodinville at their first meet on Thursday, Nov. 30, Inglemoor performed well with six of the gymnasts placing in the top 10 for All Around scoring.