Cardinal Gymnastics: The Smyth Report

March 13, 2005

'It's not the size of the dog in the fight it's the size of the fight in the dog · GAME ON'

'There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.'

The 2005 SWG team has faced more adversity this year and displayed more resiliency than I could have ever imagined.

It has been an incredibly challenging season and I thought that it was time to share some insight to our year. It seems to be a reoccurring theme for us that just as one athlete gets healthy and enters the lineup another goes out. The week Natalie was out Alex was cleared, the week Tabitha was cleared Liz went out, the week Glyn went out, Aimee and Liz stepped back in.

All along one thing has been constant...Lauren Elmore. Lauren has been a steady and reliable competitor all year. She has competed in the all around every weekend and has improved with each competition. She has emerged as a quiet leader out on the floor and a true competitor. Thank goodness for Elmo.

After 6 months of being out Jessica Louie was cleared to compete bars in our meet against Utah. She added a huge spark to our team that has beenstruggling with health and depth all year. In Utah we put up a greatperformance. Elizabeth was spectacular and back in the all around for us after 4 weeks...she just shined throughout the night. We started strong on floor with a line up of 5 freshmen and one junior. In front of 11,000 people the girls performed with great confidence. We went to vault nextwith still only 5 vaulters and performed well. On bars we hit 6 for 6routines and finished on beam while Utah was on floor. On beam we were abit shaky overall, but Liz and Tabitha both stepped up and hit greatroutines.

On Sunday at home against Alabama we faced yet another set back, Liz's ankle went out again. Due to years of gymnastics, the ligaments in Liz's ankle are completely stretched out and the ankle easily moves in and out of socket. When this happens, the ankle locks and bone chips get stuck causing trauma to the area. Unfortunately, this has been happening more and more lately and it is extremely unpredictable. Liz had an MRI and an XRAY this week and will be undergoing surgery as soon as possible. Liz is special, and her health, happiness and long-term success are the priority.

What I can say about this team is I am extremely proud of how they havehandled each of these setbacks. This team just rolls with the punches andsteps up. At practice yesterday, Natalie looked great on everything, Lou,Tabbi and Aimee vaulted incredibly well and will enter the lineup soon. Weare still expecting Glyn will be back by Regionals stronger and tougher than ever. We still have hope in our hearts and believe in our ability.

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