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After its second consecutive division championship at the Pennsylvania Classic under head coach Lexie Bowie, the Chambersburg gymnastics team enters the 2015-2016 season with more than half of its performers having never competed, some even stepping on a springboard for the first time.

"Some have taken a class or two of gymnastics, but (eight) have ever been on a team before," Bowie said. "We are basically teaching them from ground zero, teaching them cartwheels, handstands and even forward rolls."

But Bowie says the new performers are working very hard, stating that despite having no background in the sport, a few new performers have vaults prepared through just four weeks of practice.

Along with the eight new performers, the Trojans return six from last year's Bronze Division championship team, with their top competitor Abby Zeger, returning for her senior season. Zeger placed first in the bronze all-around last season, and Bowie expects her to continue where she left off.

"I think Abby is going to do very well for us this year," Bowie said. "Floor is going to be our strongest element with our returning girls."

Bowie said the team has been working on minimizing performances to weed out extra skills that don't necessarily gain any points, but have the potential to draw deductions. The third-year coach also admits that the team's weakest event will be bars, with just four performers who compete in the event, when the team typically has five.

Jaelynn Walker, Jocelyn Kibbe and Caitlin Hunsecker also return for their junior seasons. Walker was the third-place finisher in all-around at the PA Classic.

Sophomore Tayah Cooper returns for her second year of competition after joining the team as a freshman, brand new to the sport. As a beam and floor competitor, Bowie said Cooper has worked extremely hard to hone her skills in just two years.

TROJANS AT A GLANCE

Coach: Lexie Bowie, third year, 6-0.

Last year: 3-0, won the PA Classic championship in the Bronze Division.

Starters lost: Sammi Lowery, Taylor Figgins.

Returning performers: Abby Zeger (sr., all-around), Jaelynn Walker (jr., all-around), Jocelyn Kibbe (jr. all-around), Caitlin Hunsecker (jr. all-around), Tayah Cooper (so., beam, floor), Kayli Straub (so., all-around). 

Opener: Friday, in the Chambersburg Winter Invitational, 7 p.m.

Waynesboro Maidens

Coach: Amy Dennis, 24th year.

Starters lost: Rachel Fleagle, Katheryn Graham, Jada Baker.

Returning performers: Kiersten Pollard, Caitlyn Weatherly, Shayna Young.

Other performers: Taylor Caiati, Karly Atkinson, Megan Kelley, Alex Stoops, Mikayla Bryan, Madeline Johnson, Lydia Schoonover, Annie Slemmer. 

Outlook: Dennis said, "We're so new, but we have three seniors who are working very hard. You can tell it's their senior year and they want it to be the best year. I think we should be pretty consistent across all four events; the only one that makes me nervous is bars."

Notes: Waynesboro added four freshman to its varsity roster, while top performer Jada Baker did not return to the team for her senior season. 

Opener: Friday, in the Chambersburg Winter Invitational, 7 p.m. 

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