Between The Bars

Jan. 28, 2008

Our home season opener against Stanford mirrored the uncharacteristic and erratic California weather we've been having for both teams involved. It was definitely a battle to the finish, with both teams refusing to lose.

Unfortunately, our win over a great team like Stanford was overshadowed by the injury to one of our great athletes and stalwart team leaders, Kristina Comforte. Kristina twisted her knee badly on her first tumbling pass on floor. We will have her test results back tomorrow. Of course, we are all praying that it looked far worse than any actual damage.

Although the 'highs and lows' continued throughout the meet, there were definite highlights and progress made with our competitors. Highlights of our team's performances were:

  • Anna Li convincingly winning her third consecutive all-around title. She continues to get stronger on every event and responds extremely well to tough honest coaching during the meet. She is also close to competing a double layout on floor soon.
  • Jordan Schwikert's high hamstring pull from last week was healed enough for her to compete on three events, and she performed a beautiful bar routine to place first on that event. She was obviously thrilled to be back in the line-up.
  • Marci Bernholtz proved to be a true competitor, repeating her previous week's beam performance and adding a full-twisting backhandspring swing-down which rivaled Kristen Maloney's and left half the fans gasping (as they used to with Maloney's).
  • And Melissa Chan made her 2008 debut, coming in on floor at the last minute for Ariana Berlin, who came out of the floor line-up due to continued leg issues. Melissa proved to be true to Chan form, finding her landings even though she's had minimal training in the gym, due to her ankle surgery. Melissa wasn't even in line to come in as first, second, or third alternate, but she LOVES to compete. When an athlete is in my face every time I turn around letting me know she's ready to come in, I tend to honor that enthusiasm and confidence, which is how Melissa got into our floor line-up. Hopefully, she'll be able to be in on floor and beam this week in Seattle.

    We're looking forward to mixing up our line-up our next two weekends. Everyone on our team will get a lot of competition experience at Washington this weekend and in Chicago the following weekend.

    FYI - check out the following site The, which is a Fox News Channel-affiliated website that did a short story on Ariana and her comeback from her accident.

    ~ miss val

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