"We definitely are really excited about it. We're doing little things to celebrate,” says Marshfield senior gymnast Emma Haugen about the team making the state tournament. “Multiple of us have pink hair this week."
The pink hair might not improve performance for Marshfield gymnastics, but when you make it to the state tournament for the first time in 45 years, you can celebrate any way you want to.
"Having such high goals we didn't even believe were possible and being able to make it was amazing,” says junior gymnast Gracie Holland.
It's been a year in which the team has raised the bar for excellence multiple times.
Allie Dryer: "They set a team score goal of 134, and we hit it the second meet of the season,” said head coach Allie Dryer. “So then it started going to 136 and then 138."
Breaking through to state is something that this group has had their eye on for a long time. Now that they've made it this far, the challenge becomes balancing the natural excitement, while also maintaining the focus necessary to achieve their ultimate goal and win the whole thing.
"(We’re) definitely really excited,” said Haugen. “We’re still trying to stay focused and get work done so we can break the school record again possibly one more time."
Dryer says: "This week we're doing what we know how to do, making sure that we're polished and ready, but also really embracing the fun that comes along with this."
What's been the difference to help the Tigers get over the hump this year? Above anything, the bond they've built as a group.
"We definitely are really close this year so we've grown with each other,” said Haugen. “There's lots of friendships that have been built."
"Our strength is probably how tight-knit the group is and how much they support each other,” Dryer explains. “Everyone on the team has played a really big role in that team bond and working together, and that's something that we haven't always had, is a team that's so cohesive."