Gym Talk: Seniors
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Hello Gym Talk Readers!!! Here are your tri-captain seniors, Lauren, Melody, and Stephanie writing to you from the airport in Detroit, Michigan about to head back to Louisiana after an exciting weekend! Last week you heard from Jessica about our Christmas break and coming back to school. We continued our hard work at practice Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to get ready to leave for our first meet on Friday!!! We had lots of team sets, which really helped us get into meet mode. We also worked really hard on our endurance and consistency. Thursday morning we got up early to get ready for our long travel day. It started with a quick breakfast at the "love shack" (aka Coach Jackie's House), we then drove from the Gold Dome to Monroe, LA, flew from Monroe to Atlanta, Georgia. Apparently the Atlanta airport was the place to be because we ran into the University of Florida Gymnastics team as well as the Minnesota State Hockey team.  We got some great pictures; make sure to check out our Facebook page to see them!  After a quick team meeting we flew from Atlanta to Detroit, got our rental van and finally made it to Kalamazoo, home of the Western Michigan Broncos.  The day we have been waiting for since we first started team practices in the fall had finally arrived.  This day was especially memorable for us because it was our last first meet we will ever have; it is crazy to think that something that has been such a huge part of our lives for so many years is coming to an end.  We could not have a better team to share these experiences with. 

We had a great experience on our first meet day just building the excitement all day.  Tawnee's parents provided us lunch at the hotel so we could have a 'low stress' day!  During lunch we had a great team meeting with our own Lauren Carlton providing us with our "pep talk"! (Check out our Facebook page for a video). After that we had time to really enjoy the process of getting ready for the meet with our teammates; doing all the primping and getting fired up!

At Western Michigan we began on bars.  The bars were a bit "wonky" as Stephanie says, it was a rough start for us but we didn't let that get us down.  The rest of the meet went up from there.  We had some great vaults leading off with Natalie, our only freshman traveling with us this weekend.  She did awesome, and I have to say it was the cutest thing ever when she landed and popped up with a huge smile on her face.  Next was floor; before the meet the WMU coach told us how great the floor was and he was not lying, this floor felt amazing and our tumbling was huge! We ended on beam and had some uncharacteristic mistakes but still not a bad finish.  We were proud of ourselves but knew we had a lot of room for improvement and were thankful for the chance to redeem ourselves on Sunday. 

Saturday was another travel day but not quite as long, we had a short drive from Kalamazoo to Mt. Pleasant. We ate lunch at a local Mt. Pleasant favorite with some of our parents and a shout to Mark and Julie Holt; Amanda's parents, for providing us lunch! Thanks so much! Another special shout out to Kimberly Hadd, Tawnee's mom for doing our whole teams hair including Coach!  What team goes to Michigan for a competition and comes home with all new hairstyles, this team really is one of a kind!

Finishing up our weekend we had a quad meet against Central Michigan, Wisconsin- La Crosse, and Wisconsin- Eau Claire.  Both Wisconsin schools were D3 giving us a chance to compete against some schools that will be in our division.  Overall this meet was a lot better than Friday's. Starting with our huge fan base at Central Michigan. One of our own, Tawnee Hadd, lives close enough to CMU that her entire family and club team came to watch us. It is so much more fun to compete and show off our routines when the people we care about are watching. We started on bars again but we took what we learned from our meet on Friday and rocked out! Our handstands were beautiful and everyone felt much more confident. Our Beam and Floor events were also much better than Friday, we looked so much more mentally strong on beam and our landings were very solid on floor. Junior, Meg Crowley, finished with a 9.7, which meant she took first place! It was a great routine! Our vaults were beautiful and everyone looked like they had so much power!! We counted consistent 9.5 and 9.55's for our vault total. Our second meet of the season and we did not count a fall in our team total!  After the meet was over even though we did great on Sunday, we are all very excited and motivated to get back into the gym and train hard to be even better! You can look forward to seeing some great gymnastics from the Ladies this season! This weekend was only a warm up for us!