Gymnastics Millikan

PREVIEW: Millikan Gymnastics Looks to Win Seventh Straight Moore League Title

The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2023-24 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.

Gymnastics is coming down to its final two years as a sport in the Long Beach Unified School District, and the Rams are looking to continue their success in the Moore League hunting for their seventh straight title.

As club gymnastics continues to haul in local gymnasts, Long Beach high school programs have faced a slow decline in recent years with schools like Lakewood now amongst the fallen gymnastics programs after their final season in 2023. And even for as dominant of a program that Millikan has been, the Rams have also faced a decline this year losing half of their team who moved on from high school gymnastics.

“We did take a hit this year which was interesting,” said Millikan coach Ashleigh Ferguson. “I’ve always been in a four year program where most kids stay all four years but last year we lost half of our team who finished their PE credits after two years and said they were done (with high school gymnastics).”

Despite a loss of players, Ferguson believes her team has everything to gain with new opportunities for more competition.

“So our team is a lot smaller than it normally is but we have good all around gymnasts and a few newer gymnasts from cheer who are doing great. So I think we’ll still be good but it’ll be nice because I think it’ll be a little bit more competitive (in the Moore League). I think it’ll be more fun this year.”

With the discontinuation of Lakewood’s program, the Moore League now consists of just Millikan, Wilson, and St. Joseph. 

The Rams will be led by second year gymnast Eva Esqueda who competed in the Moore League finals last year. The junior hopes to find success in individuals as she finishes out high school gymnastics in her last two years.

“I’m so excited for these next two years,” said Esqueda. “Since joining the team I’ve been able to create so many amazing friendships and bonds with both my teammates and coaches. I’m looking forward to the season starting to be able to watch myself and my teammates and show what we’ve worked so hard for. We wanna be able to see our progression from previews to finals.”

“All four of her events are strong and she’s got good skill in each event,” added Ferguson of Esqueda. “She’s a really pretty (performing) gymnast with pretty form.”

Esqueda will be joined by Kaitlyn Lee, Sofia Barba, Alexis Hooper, and Jessica Peterson to round out Millikan’s varsity gymnasts.

The Rams are also welcoming in freshmen Cidney Berry, Lacy Beerling, and Stella Daguro who will look to grow in Millikan’s well-developed program.

Even through all of their years of dominance, Ferguson simply just wants to grow and cherish her program in its final two seasons.

“We just want to have a good time. Of course it’s nice to win and I want the win for the girls but sometimes I think maybe that’s not what happened these last two years and that’s okay. We just want to have a good time together and finish well and with positive girls that want to be here.”

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Eli Aquino
Eli Aquino is a high school student with plenty of writing and technology skills. He has a healthy knowledge and passion for sports and looks to take on journalism as a future career.