Heather Purnell: Preparing for the NCAA Championships

April 21, 2008

Stanford women's gymnastics is busy preparing for the NCAA National Championships next weekend in Athens, Ga. and a big part of their success this season has been due to junior Heather Purnell.

Purnell talks about how the team is preparing for the big meet next weekend and how they are looking forward to participating in another NCAA Championship.

Describe making it to NCAA Nationals and participating in another NCAA Championship:
It always exciting to be one of 12 teams competing in the top competition of the year. We will finally get to prove ourselves against some that we have not yet seen this year and also teams that we saw earlier in the year. Our team is peaking at the right time, so NCAAs will be a really exciting meet for us.

What is the team focusing on this week?
This week the team is focusing on building our confidence with every turn we take and also imagining that we are competing. We are also focusing on enjoying our last few practices in the gym together

Describe the feeling going into Nationals with last year's experience under your belt?
Its nice knowing what will happen and what the atmosphere will be like. We know what to expect and what we need to do to succeed.

Talk about a memorable moment this season out of the gym this season.
A couple of weekends into season, the coaches decided to take us on our annual trip to half moon bay for the day instead of practice. We had just come off a competition that wasn't our best and we were all a little upset about how season was starting out. The trip to the beach seemed to turn our attitudes around. It made us relax a little and realize that it wasn't going to help to make a big deal about the past competitions. We just needed a clean slate and the beach trip seemed to do that for us.

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