Gymtalk with Christy
Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hello Centenary Lady Gymnastics Fans!

This past week has been so great! As a team we were hard at work preparing to protect the Dome as we played hosts to USAG Nationals!

Sunday, Jackie had a surprise for us at practice, an Easter Egg Hunt!!! The four seniors were elected captains of teams and each team was sent in to find certain color eggs. Once your team had found all the eggs there was a puzzle inside that once completed said a quote. The winners, from Jessica’s team, were awarded cupcakes as a prize! This was such a great way to end our practices at Jill’s Gymnastics for the year.

The rest of the week we practiced in the Gold Dome on the competition equipment. This was a huge advantage to us to be able to host nationals in our home gym and be able to practice on the competition equipment.

On Thursday all the teams arrived for the official practice day. Later that night all the gymnasts from all the teams got dressed up for a banquet. The senior athletes and the scholar athletes were recognized.  Our guest speaker was Kathy Johnson Clarke, Olympian and Centenary Gymnastics alum! She was such an inspirational speaker! I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room!

Friday was meet day! As the host school, we were competing in the second session against the University of Bridgeport, Seattle Pacific University, and the University of Penn. Qualifying all-around and individual event competitors from other teams that did not qualify to this meet were assigned to team squads for competition. We had girls from Temple University and Southern Connecticut University with us. The athletes along with their coaches were so supportive of us. We started the night off on beam, where we went six for six for no falls! This was such a great start to the meet! We continued the momentum throughout the entire meet. Our last event of the night was bars. We had some great fighters and finished out the meet strong. We knew the meet was going to be close and were so excited to hear that we advanced to the second day ahead of Seattle Pacific by .075! Not only was this our season high, this was the first time since 2008 that Centenary had advanced to the second day. Meg and Jess also advanced to individual finals on floor and were named to the first team All-American for the event. Robyn was named to the first team All-American in the all-around and second team on vault. Steph and I were named to the second team All-American on bars. I am so incredibly proud of this team and the hard work we have put in this year!

As a senior, I would just like to say that my past four years of college gymnastics have been the best times of my life. My fellow seniors signed with Centenary thinking we were coming to a D1 school under past head coach Bill Hardy. The summer before we got here, not only did we learn that Bill had resigned but that the school had made the decision to transition to D3. Gretchen Goerlitz was then hired as the head coach and was told that they were going to cut the program within the year. Gretchen worked with the school and saved the program before resigning the summer before my junior year. Our current head coach, Jackie Fain was then hired. She has been such a blessing to us. Not only did she believe in us, she taught us to believe in ourselves.

I am so thankful that I was given this opportunity to be able to live out my dream. I want to say thanks to the amazing support we have here at the school, the parents of the team, our wonderful alumni, all the coaches along the way, and my very supportive family. To the four different teams that I have been apart of while here, everyone of you I can honestly say I look at you like you are my sisters and am so grateful that you have been placed in my life. I am truly a better person because of all of you. To the little girl who fell in love with the sport 17 years ago, she ends a career just as in love as when she began.

Stay tuned to hear how Centenary finishes out team finals against Bridgeport, TWU, and Brown!

Signing off for the last time, with much love,

Chimi