PINE ISLAND, Minn. - Two communities, coming together to show their support for their team. Pine Island Zumbrota-Mazeppa gymnastics was sent off to the state tournament in grand fashion Friday, a tournament not many expected at the beginning of the season.
"[We] started the season 12 weeks ago, we didn't know if we were going to get a section meet, let alone a state tournament meet so to get this extra meet in, we're really excited for it, the girls are excited for it," head coach Chris Templeton said.
PIZM is making its fourth-consecutive trip to the tourney, a testament to the hard work the girls have put in time and time again.
"To see these girls and how they've worked to accomplish so much in the last four years, and five years, and six years they've been together in the gym and now they're putting it together," parent Todd Cordes said. "Hopefully, this is our year."
For these athletes, to see both communities continuing to support them year in and year out, means so much.
"They're definitely our number one fans and they've supported us through all the years," senior Kenzie Cordes said.
"They do their best to show up for us and support us, watch our livestreams and it really helps us with our nerves and to know that there's people behind us to support us no matter what," senior Jaci Newman said.
Parent Deb Berg said it doesn't matter which school the girls go to, the support is even.
"I don't think we sit in the stands and say 'that girl's from Zumbrota or that girl's from Mazeppa or that girl's from Pine Island,'" she said. "We're PIZM, we're one and that's the way it should be."
One final sendoff and one final meet for many of the athletes.
"For us six, this is our last meet of our whole careers and we've come a long way with each other so definitely just to stay in the moment and enjoy everything," Newman said.
"Got to make a lot of memories today," Cordes said.