Former Liberty gymnasts become new coaches

Nikayla Copenhaver , Staff Writer

Five years ago, Tia Riley and Hannah Bergam were the co-captains of the Liberty gymnastics team.  Now, they are the co-coaches, and their goal is to build a team strong enough to go to State.

Riley and Bergam were both key parts of the gymnastics team when they were at Liberty, and they are hoping to make just as big of an impact as coaches.  Because both of them know what moves are supposed to look and feel like, and they are able to share their own experiences with the team, the team is able to learn a lot more from them.

“It’s interesting to realize how much we learned as athletes and how much we can pay forward; we picked up on things back then that we didn’t necessarily think about consciously, but now, it’s making it easier to pass along new skills and teach routines to the girls,” Bergam said.

The coaches said that their main goal for the season was to get the team to believe they could make it to districts and state and to start shaping a positive atmosphere.

“We want to change their mindset. It hasn’t really been a goal to go to districts or state, and we want to show them that it’s definitely possible if they work hard,” Riley said.

“The coolest thing would be to build a team mentality: to teach the girls that they’re competing for each other, and not just themselves,” Bergam said.

The team has had two meets so far, winning against Bellevue with a high score of 139 and losing to Sammamish.  They are currently placed 4th in KingCo, but with the combination of talented new freshmen like Gabi Parrish, new coaches, and experienced athletes such as Brooke Ury and Ting Pan, the season looks promising.