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The student news site of Baldwin High School

The Purbalite

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The Purbalite

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O’Neill brings skill, work ethic to gymnastics team

O’Neill has stuck with the sport and her skills have grown.
Rachael Bonneau
O’Neill has stuck with the sport and her skills have grown.

Senior Kaite O’Neill took her first gymnastics class as a toddler, and 17 years later she still practices the sport in the same gym – just for a different reason. 

When she was only 1 year old, O’Neill’s mother enrolled her in a “mommy-and-me” gymnastics class after she had noticed O’Neill often climbing around. Ever since, O’Neill has stuck with the sport and her skills have grown up with her. 

“Seeing where you started and seeing what you’re able to do now is one of the best feelings,” O’Neill said. 

Over the years, she has gone from club competitions to Baldwin High School’s team, and she competes in all four events: vault, beam, floor, and bars.

Her teammate, senior Ashley Brown, is impressed by O’Neill’s skills. 

“Katie has a stunning round-off on the beam and frequently sticks,” Brown said.

Sophomore Ella Scurry enjoys being on the team with O’Neill. 

“She is hardworking, funny, and a good teammate,” Scurry said. 

Brown agreed.

“Katie is good at calming people down and getting them to realize their full potential,” she said.

The team practices out of the same gym and has some of the same coaches as when O’Neill was younger, which helps make her high school team so welcoming, O’Neill said. 

Along with having a close relationship with her coaches, practicing with her teammates has built strong bonds for O’Neill. She credits that for some of the team’s success, including finishing third in the state in 2023.

“We all know that we’re competing for ourselves, but in the end, we know that what we do ourselves is going to help the team,” O’Neill said. 

This season the Highlanders have an undefeated record so far, and the team hopes to return to states at the end of this season.

“It’s going to be very close,” O’Neill said. “All we can do is make sure we clean up the little stuff and stay focused.”

Outside of gymnastics, O’Neill has played volleyball since middle school, participating in both club teams and Baldwin school teams. She also runs recreationally. 

“Being active is so important to me because it helps keep me in shape and feel well overall,” O’Neill said. 

She is unsure of what college she will attend, but she plans on studying either environmental engineering or civil engineering. She may pursue collegiate athletics, but has not decided.

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About the Contributors
Rachael Bonneau
Rachael Bonneau, News Editor
News Editor Rachael Bonneau is a senior and a second-year staff member. If she’s not at the library, she’s probably playing video games with her friends.
Aria Majcher
Aria Majcher, Entertainment Editor
Entertainment Editor Aria Majcher is a senior in her second year on the Purbalite. If she’s not spending all of her money at a record store, it’s probably because she’s spending all of her money at a concert. 
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