Cardinal Gymnastics: The Smyth Report

Jan. 26, 2005

First let me start off by saying how proud I am of this team. This mostly new group competed hard, and fought throughout the night against a very good Washington team. For the first meet of the year we accomplished the goals we set out. We hit a lot of routines, brought great energy to the meet and stayed healthy. We understand that we have lots of work ahead of us, but as a group we are ready and willing.

As I have said before, we are starting off slow. We have really been challenged up to this point with injuries -----especially lower extremities. Having Lou go down in September has really hurt us. She is a confident and aggressive competitor and I really miss seeing her leadership out on the competition floor. We are also resting Natalie on everything except for bars for the next couple of weeks to get her ankle stronger. Natalie absolutely hates sitting out...I love this about her! I am hoping with 2 weeks of rest she will be full go by our Arizona meet on February 11th.

'A bend in the road is not the end of the road...unless you fail to make the turn.' We are staying positive and keeping our eye on the prize...I believe that the adversity we have faced early on this year is what will make our team tougher and stronger in the end. Given the cards we've been dealt, I feel that our chance to be a great team in March and April will be determined largely in part by our ability to be patient now. We will be patient.

The good news:

Glyn Sweets looks fantastic! She performed beautifully on bars and competed a big explosive vault. While we have had to watch her ankles and her shins over the last two years I am hoping to see her in the all around as soon as possible. Stacy worked three events, and did a great job. She handled her front aerial on beam beautifully and competed floor for the first time in her career at Stanford.

The freshmen also really stepped up and made big contributions: They performed 15 out of our 24 routines. Freshmen superstars Liz Tricase and Lauren Elmore hit 4 for 4 in their very first college meet. They were fantastic! Liz's vault was huge and it was exciting to see her perform her new floor routine. Lauren started us on 3 events and was great. She nailed her round-off, flip-flop layout on beam, and started us off with a bang. Other highlights were Alex's and Steph's floor routines, they danced and tumbled well. Overall, I was pleased with the performance quality on floor. With Tab, Aimee and Glyn adding floor later in the season, I think this is a unique, and wonderful mix of floor workers.A special thanks for all of the support, and well wishes from fans and alumni. Hang in there with us! I would also like to thank Jim and Michelle Billmaier for hosting us for dinner in the Pacific Northwest. We had a gourmet meal and a wonderful time!

Our mantra this week is optimistic, purposeful, and committed. As a group we are staying upbeat and motivated, our practices are purposeful...every action has a reason and we are staying true to the plan. Lastly we are renewing our commitment, narrowing the focus and striving for excellence.

I hope to see you at our first home meet this Friday night at 7:30 pm as we host Oregon State University at Burnham Pavillion. Please come out and support SWG.

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