Grand Ledge Gymnastics Flips for Chocolate Milk
For the seventh year in a row the Grand Ledge High School Women’s Gymnastics Team made a presence at the High School State Championship meet, because for seven years in a row the team won their regional competition, as well as their conference meet, and every other meet along the way. In fact, this team has done something that not many other teams in the history of Michigan High School sports have done – won over 100 consecutive competitions (106 to be exact)!
Before the team heads to their State Championship competition every year, they meet at a local restaurant in Grand Ledge to eat breakfast as a team and with community members who show up to wish the girls good luck. Two employees and former Grand Ledge gymnasts from the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) were able to attend the team’s pre-competition breakfast on March 7th. It was a privilege to be involved in this tradition (once again) and to be able to see the girls off to the 2014 state competition.
UDIM was involved with the Grand Ledge Gymnastics Team because they won one of our high school Chocolate Milk: Nature’s Sports Drink Grant. This grant was awarded to 75 schools throughout the 2013-14 school year, with 25 schools being awarded during the winter sports season. The grant provides the sports teams with funding to purchase low-fat/fat-free chocolate milk for their athletes before, during, or after practices and competitions, rolling cooler bags to transport the chocolate milk, and other promotional items featuring chocolate milk as natures perfect sports drink. Each sports team is also provided with professionally printed posters that feature their athletes as “chocolate milk celebrities.”
I was able to attend Grand Ledge Gymnastics Team’s day on the dairy farm when they had their chocolate milk photos taken. It was a fun-filled day and many of the girls had never stepped foot on a dairy farm before. The dairy farmers were able to give a short tour of their farm and provided the girls with an awesome space to take their chocolate milk photos – the calf barn!
To end their season, Grand Ledge came in second place at the State Championship meet; which is the first time is 6 years that they have not taken home the state title. After speaking with head coach, Duane Haring, he was very excited about the runner-up position, because the team went into the meet as the “underdog” because of many serious injuries throughout the season. The team was also able to come back from being in fifth place after the 3rd rotation to take second place at the completion of the meet – now those are some tough ladies!
One of the team captains and seniors stated that the chocolate milk grant brought the team closer together because they were able to visit a dairy farm; which is something they would not typically do. She also stated that a cold glass of chocolate milk was awesome to have after a difficult meet and between rotations at the long weekend invitationals. Coach Haring stated that he was extremely excited to receive this grant because he understands that the gymnasts need the nutrition that comes from milk and dairy products. He also stated that the chocolate milk was perfect to help the girls recover and re-hydrate after meets and practices.
Let’s raise our glasses to a great season and many more to come!