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Feature Friday: Junior Joel Chamakala flips through another season

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Taken by Grace Garlick

Taken by Grace Garlick

Taken by Grace Garlick

Grace Garlick

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With the recent close of this year’s boys gymnastics season, junior Joel Chamakala expresses the strengths he’s gained through his experiences in the sport.

“I’ve been doing gymnastics for two years now on high bar and floor because I want to get stronger,” Chamakala said. “This year, I got a lot of new skills on high bar and I’ve perfected a cast fly away, which is a dismount where you let go of the bar, flip, and stick. I’m trying to improve on my double mount and building up more physical strength, conditioning, and lifting.”

Chamakala also disclosed advancements the team made through the season.

“Teamwise, we had a strong freshman team this year, everyone on JV was learning new skills, and varsity was cleaning their techniques up a lot,” Chamakala said.

A successful season in a sport that necessitates high levels of agility, muscular endurance, and flexibility requires a lot of practice that increases these skills to prepare the team for competitions.

“In practice, we start with conditioning where we usually do a 12 series and handstands for a minute. Then at the end of practice we do more conditioning where we’ll do handstand push-ups, squat jumps, and front levers,” Chamakala said.

Aside from pasta parties and despite the hard work in the meets and rigorous practices, the team manages to create a close, fun environment in the midst of sweat and competition.

“At every meet, we cheer everyone on as a team. Everyone says their own chant before they compete and has their own nickname, my nickname is Chocolate Llama because of my last name,” Chamakala said. “My teammate Slaiw is Iranian and an inside joke we have is he’ll always say ‘I’ll do a round off back flip’ in his accent and it makes everyone laugh.”

Chamakala looks forward to a successful season next year and working towards making the varsity team.

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Feature Friday: Junior Joel Chamakala flips through another season