Photo By: Courtesy of Shannon Thoke
The Los Altos High gymnastics team, pictured with members of the Mountain View High squad, notched a 3.556 GPA this season.
The Los Altos High gymnastics team last month won a Central Coast Section Spring Season Scholastic Championship Team Award for posting the highest grade-point average in its sport.
Boasting a collective GPA of 3.556, the Eagles edged runner-up St. Francis High (3.5144) for top honors.
Los Altos gymnastics coach Shannon Thoke said her gymnasts – especially the upperclassmen – had good reason to maintain good grades.
“We have a lot of seniors, and they tried to keep their GPAs up to get into great colleges,” Thoke said.
None of the seniors plan to continue their gymnastics careers in college, but Thoke said the sport helped get them there.
“I think that they have the ability to focus on their academics while still having the same focus on their gymnastics career. Especially those girls who were seniors, it was good for their resume,” she said, “Not only was it good for their athletic career, but it also helped their academics as well.”
Erin Woolley, a graduating senior headed to UC Davis in the fall, agrees with that notion.
“For me, at least, I find it hard to concentrate for too long; gymnastics is a nice way to get away from that, and then go back to studying,” Woolley said. “You have a responsibility to do schoolwork, but you can’t miss practice. It definitely conflicts, but it is doable.”
Woolley was one of several team members who took Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which often require extra homework.
“(We) would bring homework to meets and work on it when (we’d) have extra time,” she said. “(It’s) not something you would see in the past, but definitely good because no one wants to go home and work on homework after a meet.”
Woolley’s two senior teammates are headed to college as well. Monica Hsu will join Woolley at Davis and Kelli Yamaguma will attend Cal State Fullerton.
Other members of the team who contributed to winning the scholastic award include junior Emma Orner, sophomore Tori Heyman and freshmen Katie Dillon, Aleksis Kanerva and Megan Schmiesing.
Several local squads contended for the awards, instituted by the CCS Board of Managers in 1985 to recognize teams for their work in the classroom.
Two other Los Altos teams finished among the top five in their respective spring sports: boys tennis (third, 3.5878 GPA) and badminton (fourth, 3.33).
Three additional St. Francis teams contended: boys lacrosse (third, 3.2968), girls lacrosse team (fourth, 3.545) and softball (fifth, 3.5529).
Winners received a team certificate and individual certificates of commendation.