Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hello Centenary fans! Here are the seniors, Melody Smith, Lauren Carlton, and Stephanie Wright, writing to you after our last home meet! This past week was really exciting in and out of the gym after such a great meet March 10. The energy in the gym has been contagious. The 193.20 was the first time we have gotten over a 193 as a team in the four years that we have been here. It was an incredible experience. It was also so amazing to have such a large support from all of the alumni. Every person that was on our team our freshmen year was there to support us as seniors, it was so nice having them there. This week was also really exciting because we were able to leave our meet equipment set up in the Gold Dome, allowing us to practice on campus. This is always nice because it helps us prepare to compete in the Gold Dome, and we feel more like Centenary athletes being able to workout on campus. Our amazing trainer, Stephanie, is also right there if we need anything, and we can walk to the gym!

We had a great practice on Monday, because we were able to have the whole team together at the same time. This usually doesn’t happen because we have to work around class schedules. Tuesday’s night owls had another great practice. We were able to focus on twisting vaults which is always fun! If we can have more twisting vaults in our lineup this will really help improve our team score. Friday was an especially good practice because we were lucky enough to have the channel 12 news crew there, writing a story on Centenary Gymnastics. This was the first time we have ever been interviewed and it was a really cool experience! We were also able to recycle some old competition leotards into new practice leotards! It’s always so fun when we get to match as a team! Friday, we did our usual meet run through before the meet and it was a success.

I know for us, Saturday’s meet was a very special day. This was the last time the three of us were able to compete at the home, and this was also our very last meet before Conference Championships next weekend in Chicago. So you could say the pressure was on, but we enjoyed every second of it. We began our wonderful night by walking into our locker room, and being surprised by another one of our alumni Marisa Schneider’s wonderful masterpieces. There were senior and graduation decorations everywhere, and pictures, pictures and more pictures. It was awesome and really got us pumped up! We had a great warm up and were ready to compete.

Vault started out great and we actually got our highest team vault score of the season. Melody’s little sister, Robyn, had the highlight of the event with her vault. She twisted her new layout half and had a beautiful landing which earned her a 9.825, definitely a new career high for her! Next on bars, we had another team high total! Our bar routines were clean and very consistent, which, when you break it down, clean and consistent gymnastics is key to having a great score.  We had several Ladies who had to change up the skills in their bar routine at the last minute, but they handled the pressure very well and were able to make nice, clean bar routines and produce the scores we needed!

Then we went to beam where we have a ton of awesome beam queens!  We all had been so consistent in practice that Coach Jackie had a hard time picking the line up.  We had two falls in the beginning but it did not phase the back of the lineup.  They got on the beam and did the beam routines they knew they could do and all HIT!  Finally, we went to floor, our last event ever to compete in the Gold Dome.  We had some awesome floor routines! Everyone finished their passes strong and with confidence! Everyone had complete confidence that the person up was going to nail their routine!

After all of that excitement, we ended up with a team score of 192.8!!  And each senior was walked out on the floor by their family and recognized for their contributions to the team and school! Coach Jackie went above and beyond with our gifts! She gave us a framed picture with a plaque, three memorable pictures and an awesome quote!  And our beautiful awesome amazing team gave us roses and made us each a scrapbook of our four years in college so we could always remember the good old days at Centenary!

We were so proud of ourselves! The meet was so much fun, a great last home meet for us seniors! We know that our team is capable of so much and it is so awesome that our scores are final showing it! Right now we are in eighth place in our national ranking and the top eight teams qualify to compete. This means we need to focus on doing our jobs at conference to improve our scores and ensure our spot. We know that we can always improve but we are very proud of the steps we have made! Look forward to hearing how we did at conference in next weeks gym talk!

Love forever,

Class of 2012 Centenary Ladies Gymnastics