For the Central gymnastics team, this week has simply felt different. The Bearcats are preparing for sectionals, which in years past has meant a chance to host a meet against familiar foes. Today, the Bearcats will travel to Connersville to face a group of teams that are mostly unfamiliar.
Kami Bronnenberg has coached the gymnastics team at Central for 20 years, and for the bulk of that time, the Bearcats have hosted a sectional. A few teams came and went, but many of the schools remained the same, with relationships being established among the participating teams.
But Bronnenberg said Central was unable to make some necessary equipment upgrades to continue to host a sectional. The IHSAA also consolidated its sectionals, holding six this year compared to eight last year.
“For us, we would have spent this week not only preparing our routines, but preparing the gym for sectionals, setting up,” Bronnenberg said. “So typically this week, we would have probably already gotten the spring floor out, and been able to practice full floor routines in our own gym. With not having to have it up, we didn’t even get the spring floor out to practice.”
Four full teams competed at last year’s Central Sectional. Thanks to the sectional consolidation, there will be more full teams today at Connersville, raising the competition level. Of those teams, Bronnenberg’s squad has only faced New Castle.
Bronnenberg said her team’s sectional goal is simply to show improvement. Her team’s best score this season is 92.3, so she is hoping for an overall score better than that.
“We’re striving for a team total, a team score, best of the year,” Bronnenberg said.