OLATHE, Kan. — Make it a clean sweep in the regular season.
Olathe North High School’s decorated gymnastics team won all eight of its regular season meets this year, and another state championship could be next.
They have won the past two Kansas state high school gymnastics championships, and the Eagles appear to be the favorite to win in 2023. The Eagles final regular season win came Saturday morning.
“The target is always on their backs,” Amanda Harrington, Olathe North’s head coach, said.
Harrington, who is now in her third season as Eagles Head Coach, coaches gymnastics teams from all five high schools in this school district. Harrington loves her team’s strength on the bars, bean, floor and vault. The coach also loves how self-driven this team’s athletes have become.
“The craft comes from their work ethic and perfecting their craft every single second of every single practice. They never let down, even when they’re exhausted,” Harrington said. “They come in here ready to work and get better every single day.”
Olathe North has four state gymnastics crowns in school history, including the two from 2021 and 2022.
“We focus on things that we need to fix to get our score higher to bring up our team score. We’re all focused on getting better,” Hannah Jensen, a senior gymnast, said.
“The pressure gets to you. First, it’s like one, and that’s OK. Then, with back-to-back, it’s like they’re building something here. Three is just crazy, and I don’t feel like that’s happened before, so it’s a lot of pressure,” Lindsey Ray, another Eagle senior, said.
Olathe North’s quest for another state title will take them to Newton High School in two weeks. The Eagles are now one of only 15 Kansas high schools fielding gymnastics programs. Harrington commented that she and other coaches would love to see participation grow.