Between The Bars

Feb. 8, 2006

'Beauty and the Beast' at Fullerton was interesting. It's the event that hosts a gymnastics meet and wresting match. It was a bit odd at first, but once the meet got underway, you didn't even notice the wrestling part.

Some highlights of the event for us ... DEFINITELY ... Comforte's 10.0 on vault. I was standing at the end of the vault runway, so all I saw was the stick. When we watched the film on Monday, we kept playing it over and over ... it was awesome. Another unexpected highlight, Ari's beam routine. We totally restructured her beam routine this week to take care of her dismount issue. She got the final version of it on Thursday and competed it near flawlessly on Friday. You could tell by watching her face that she was just trying to remember what came next, but what was odd was that I felt she finally 'performed' her routine, and she said it was actually the most calm she's felt competing this year.

Kate had a beautiful meet. Her only issue of the meet was her first handstand on bars that almost went over. Everything else she did was awesome. I was most impressed with her beam routine. She's been quite nervous about it in competition. Before she went up, she and I exchanged some banter basically about the fact that she's sick and tired of being nervous up there. All I said was, 'Just go get it done, Kate.' She performed beautifully. When she came over after her routine, she said, 'Miss Val, I felt like Maloney!' That sounded odd to me because I thought she'd say that she felt like her old self again. But then again, if I were a gymnast, I'd like to feel like Maloney too.

It was nice to see small steps taken by our whole team competing with more confidence. Jalynne's floor routine keeps getting better and better. And even though Janelle had a rough night on floor and beam, she kept fighting through the mistakes; it was definitely a learning experience for her. She also had to come in on bars because Ashley Peckett stayed home because of the flu. Janelle hasn't been confident on bars all year. She hit this routine and the exhibition at our last home meet. Hopefully, her confidence will keep building. She's got such beautiful lines on bars. We'd love to have her in our bar line-up come championship season.

It was nice to have Jordan back in the line-up and hitting her sets. She had a stumble on her last floor pass because she held back a bit, worrying about flying out of bounds. Her lines and her dance are so clean and professional-looking. She hit a beautiful beam routine as well. We left out one skill that's been bothering her shoulder that dropped her start value to a 9.9. All in all, she's coming back well. Hopefully, she'll be ready to twist her vault this weekend.

We rested Chan on floor and can hopefully rest Comforte on floor at Cal - both of them have injured ankle issues that they've worked with for years. Obviously it's different for them now in college competing every weekend.

We've got a tough stretch of our season coming up - a lot of meets in a short period of time. Our plan is to get more and more mentally tough through each competition.

~ miss val



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