Inside the Locker Room: By Blair Ryland

Jan. 26, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - After traveling to Cancun and Washington, it was awesome to finally compete at home for the first time this season, on Thursday against ASU. There's nothing we love more than competing in Burnham Pavilion in front of our family, friends, and local fans. The crowd brought great energy and excitement, and we definitely fed off that the entire night.

We started well on vault, hitting six vaults. We've been working a lot on landing drills in practice, and Nikki (Nicole Ourada) did a great job of applying those corrections, along with an MOBY vault! Bars and beam were next, and both events were attacked with confidence. During both rotations, we had a couple uncharacteristic falls, but the routines that followed each miss were some of the best work I've seen. That was exciting to watch because we talk about how we 'have each other's backs,' and we definitely displayed that. Shout out to Brownie (Alyssa Brown) on bars who did her best routine this season and capped it off with a nailed double lay. Purnell (Heather Purnell) lead off beam like the rockstar that she is, and CJ (Carly Janiga) and Nikki provided a 1-2 punch in the back with 9.925s each.

We had a lot of energy going into the last rotation, and you could certainly tell by a couple out-of-bounds deductions. But overall, our dance and performance has been improving each week, along with our landings. Fee (Kelly Fee) started us off strong, and Shelley Jo (Shelley Alexander) was a standout with her fun routine and solid landings. T (Tenaya West) also nailed her set with sky-high tumbling. Rounding out the floor line-up were CJ and Nikki, and it was a tremendous boost to have them back there, as well as in the all-around.

On Saturday night, some of the girls went to the STREB dance performance, in which some former SWGgles were performing. The girls who went certainly enjoyed it and said it was very entertaining. The rest of us returned to Burnham to watch the men at the Stanford Open against Cal and Nebraska. The guys rallied back after a devastating pommels rotation with awesome rings and vault rotations, but it wasn't enough to overcome Berkeley. While watching them lose to Cal wasn't so fun, seeing Weedge's (Allyse Ishino) little brother Glen compete for Berkeley was.

Each week, we continue to make strides toward better body position, more swagger, and stuck landings, and what's awesome is that we still have even more room for improvement. We'll be working hard on making those changes in the gym this week as we prepare for our next competition against Arizona this Friday. Thanks for stopping by!


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