Kristina Poynton: Jumping for Joy

At Woodland, sports are competitive, students are loud and spirited, and teams bond like a family.  But what if you’re the only person on a team? What happens then?

Senior, Kristina Poynton was the only athlete on Woodlands gymnastics team. If sports and school are too stressful, one would think having teammates could make the stress ease away. But, she’s been participating gymnastics since her legs came in, so the partner-less anxiety doesn’t affect her as much.

Poynton has been enjoying gymnastics since she was three years old.  Poynton has won medals and competitions through USA Gymnastics, where she competed before high school.  Along with gymnastics, she’s also been on the track team at Woodland for four years. She says that she loves both sports, but gymnastics is where her heart is.  

Gymnastics has also positively affected her ability to perform better in other sports.  

“Gymnastics helps me be able to do long and triple jump at track because it was able to teach me the correct form I need to be able to jump successfully,” said Poynton.

Poynton says she loves high school gymnastics because of how many wonderful and welcoming girls she met on the team.  

“We were able to bond through being on a team for different schools,” Poynton said.

Games, meets, and competitions can be stressful and nerve-racking. They were no different for Poynton at first.  “I get nervous a lot before I compete because I am hard on myself and always want to do good,” Poynton said, “but high school gymnastics helped me not feel so pressured and nervous about competing.”

Competing as a multi-sport athlete also helped Poynton learn true management skills.  Poynton is able to get her school work done with time management.

“Just doing gymnastics doesn’t interfere with doing my school work but doing both gymnastics and track does, “ she said, “finding time to get some hours in at work is difficult but I am able to get all of it done.”

Poynton traveled with Pomperaug to high school  meets and competed against other schools in the area such as Nonnewaug, Oxford, and New Milford.  

Judges score gymnasts by their technique and the difficulty of their skills.  If their skill level isn’t as high as others, they would start with a lower start value than other gymnasts competing with skills of higher difficulty.

Poyntons strongest event is the vault.  She earned an eighth-place finish at the State Open in March and placed 14th in the New English competition. Poynton plans to continue gymnastics in college with the Club team at Sacred Heart University.