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Gymnastics Program Growing By Leaps and Bounds

By Staff, 02/17/21, 1:30PM CST


The Gymnastics program has come a long way in the past year alone. After only having two gymnasts on last years’ roster Coach Nicole Cleeton went to work on building the program up. Through her hard work and diligence, CDH is now carrying a full roster of 15 gymnasts. 

 “I have been the head coach for a few years now and we are fortunate to finally have enough girls to complete a full team to compete at events,'' said Cleeton. “Despite the difficult times we are in, our girls have rallied together and picked each other up both inside and outside of the gymnastics gym.” Cleeton also noted how proud she is of this team. “I am honored to be able to coach such a strong group of girls and they are the epitome of what we at CDH look forward to when coaching our student-athletes”.  

 With a young nucleus, the Raiders are all looking forward to building on this season and continuing to make each other better gymnasts and continue to build on the strong athletic tradition at CDH.  

 The top returning gymnast from last season, Mary Kae Kuenster ’22, loves being part of the gymnastics program, "My favorite part has been getting to know the other girls better and meeting new girls from other grades,” she said. “I also have loved seeing everyone's growth in skill and in their confidence!"  

 Kuenster has led by example this year. She has performed at a high level all season as shown at the North Saint Paul Invitational, winning the all-around competition with a score of 32.75.

Caris Werden ’24 is new to gymnastics this season. "I would say the main reason that I wanted to join the team was wanting to put myself out there,” she said. “I was so nervous at first but the girls were so welcoming, encouraging, and loving. I wouldn't trade my season this year for the world."  

Both Kuenster and Werden show that, even in a new environment for the majority of the team, they are here for each other and that embodies two strong characteristics of CDH family and community.  

 “Being a coach for CDH is a dream come true and I look forward to continuing to help each gymnast work to reach their goals,” Cleeton added.