Inside the Locker Room: By Nicole Pechanec

Feb. 16, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. - Dear SWG fans,

First of all, I'd like to thank all the parents and friends that came down to watch us go up against UCLA this past Sunday. Having so much support not only at home but also away is absolutely wonderful! It definitely made all of our Valentine's Days, as did our win!

Inside the gym this week, we had been drilling down on consistency and perfecting details in our routines more than ever before. Also, looking around the gym, it is so motivating to see girls like Ming, Jenny, and Allie working back into their routines. Ming's Arabian double-front on floor goes 'bam!' because it is ridiculously awesome and I don't think I have ever seen a toe-up on bars as big as Jenny's.

On Friday, we had a usual gameday to get ready for our UCLA rematch on Sunday. However, the rules for this one were not so usual. We set a team score goal for each event and if we didn't reach it, we couldn't move on to the next event until we did. After doing a few more bar routines than expected, it was lights-out and smooth SWG sailing the rest of the three events. We finished off the day with the best beam workout I have seen our team do this season. Cat blew us all away with her beauty and confidence, while Dani was aggressive as always.

To end off the week, SWG traveled down to sunny L.A. on Sunday. While at first some of us were a little skeptical of traveling the day of the meet, it was a true test of our mental and physical strengths and we knew it wouldn't shake us. Shell started off bars with a huge routine and an upgraded full-in dismount. Shell's start, along with the rest of the bar line-up, put us in an early lead against UCLA. The vault girls did amazingly as always and Dayton ended the rotation with the only stuck vault of the meet! Floor is where SWG shows its swagger and we definitely did just that. Carly's double Arabian along with her routine was the highlight of the meet as well as Shelley upgrading her first pass to a full-in. Going into beam, we once again had the lead and were able to hold on to it until the end. Alyssa started us off with a confident and tranquil beam set and Shelley closed the meet with an attention grabbing performance.

Lastly, a special highlight of our trip was being able to meet and talk to the admired and legendary basketball coach John Wooden. To see his strong appreciation and support for gymnasts, as well as other athletes, is truly inspirational. It was an honor to be able to meet such an individual. Another person who also came out to watch the meet was actor Michael Clarke Duncan from the movie, The Green Mile.

Pretty cool stuff, isn't it? That is it for this week, so be sure to check in next week as SWG prepares for its first encounter with ASU this season.


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