Coaches Corner: Bowers Discusses Fall Practice

Oct. 12, 2009

Lake Chelan trip photo gallery

GymDawgs Hip Hop Surprise video

Hi Everyone,

Things here are going really well. We just finished a month of 6 a.m. cardio with the team (Tues/Thurs), so I met them here this a.m. with bagels. Our sports performance coach, Henry Ruggiero, is amazing with them. They are in better shape as a team right now. We are surprising them this afternoon by having a hip hop instructor come and put them through a fun hour workout! They are doing so many things together outside of the gym as well... a team bonding trip to Lake Chelan, team pot luck dinners, a Grey's Anatomy party, a community service project at Target for collecting supplies for a homeless school, and we have been doing team tailgates before each football game. We have recruits in the next couple of weekends, so... we are staying busy!

The gymnasts are working hard in the gym, too. We are stressing consistency this year. By keeping track of each turn and trying to get our hit percentage up, we should be more confident going into meets. We have a very strong schedule this year and are excited about it. We have no seniors this year but our junior class of Haley Bogart, Karen Cain, Kristen Linton and Sam Walior are providing great leadership right now and have seen so much action competing the last two years, they should be fine.

Our sophomore class of Hatsune Akaogi, Amanda Cline, Ruby Engreitz, and Anna Epps look like the veterans they are right now. They are helping to show our freshman class how we do things and are looking good. The five new freshmen are showing sparks of greatness right now but will need more time to get used to college gymnastics as the Fall progresses. Our new class is: Paige Bixler (TX), Kailey Hansen (CA), Lauren Rogers (PA), Kylie Sharp (UT) and Phoebe Tham (Vancouver, B.C.).

I feel very fortunate to have kept my staff together for our fourth year together. Both David McCreary and Shanna Duggan Hannan (yes, she got married this summer!) are fantastic coaches and are very much on board with the goal of excellence. Our athletic trainer, Kathy Thompson, has also been a constant with our staff and we couldn't keep the girls going without her. Team Physician, Dr. John O'Kane, is back helping our team and it feels like we were never without him. Our team nutritionists, Emily Edison and Monica Van Winkle have already met with us and are now meeting with the girls individually to help in any way they can. Our academic advisors, Ink Aleaga and Stephen Johnson, are on top of the study table and tutors and are always available to help us.

We are also very lucky to keep people involved with our program who are still around but cannot do gymnastics anymore. Danielle Henderson is on medical disqualification, Ashley Houghting is doing a fifth year but has completed her eligibility and both are student coaches for us. They are making significant contributions to our team and we are lucky to have them.

We are going to try something new this year with our intra-squad meet. We are going to do a co-ed meet with our men's program. It should be a lot of fun. We are also bringing back our silent auction during that meet, so bring your checkbooks!Our alumni meet will be Sat, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. vs. ASU, so any alums: please come and be recognized.

Okay, I think I will stop now... I have hit you with a good bit of information for now. Next blog, I will let you know more about routines in the gym. We hope you are all enjoying a happy and healthy Fall and can't wait to see you during our season.


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