Inside the Locker Room: By Ashley Morgan

March 30, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. - Just when I believe I have learned all I can from our five seniors, they surprise me with lessons about what it means to be a team, and they teach me about the person I am. Every single one of our seniors contributes something undeniable to this team, and this weekend in particular those gifts shined through.

The week leading up to our departure to Tucson was one of relaxation and was relatively quiet. Officially being on spring break, it was nice to enjoy one's company without any finals and especially with the weather being absolutely beautiful this week. With the sun shining, I know certain SWG members really enjoyed being able to soak up the sun on different fields around campus. We were even able to have our own style of a picnic on a hidden playground we discovered . Our last practice together was definitely filled with excitement but also complete ease. With a successful gameday our team was completely united and incredibly eager to compete and show the gymnastics world all that we have been working toward this year. All clad in dresses, our team departed to Arizona.

The practice day in Tucson ran very smoothly and we were able to test out the equipment and get a feel for the venue. I know SWG left practice even more excited and ready to compete, if that was even possible! After a nice team dinner, the fun really began. As we divided into teams, the coaches had an eventful evening planned. Especially as a freshman I did not prepare myself for the laughter and fun that was getting ready to occur. With our divided groups we were given fun tasks to act out, and a game mimicking 'Whose line is it anyway?' Blair Ryland was crowned the champion. We ended with a game of dancing where the only person in the world who could make the 'shopping cart' look cool would be Allyse Ishino!

The morning of the competition came quickly and before we knew it we were marching on to the competition floor ready to get started. Beginning on a bye we occupied ourselves with fun games, music, and stories but when it was competition time everyone focused in and was ready to go. With bars as our first event, it is easy to say Peach blew our minds with a beautiful routine and stuck dismount. She really upped the level of expectation and the rest of the bar lineup followed her lead.

Moving to beam, our team really did shine. With Brownie as our starter, it is impossible to not be excited to get on the beam. With a beautiful routine from Brownie, Weedge continued what Brownie began, matching her set with another beautiful one. CJ continued the momentum strong and nailed her routine, and one of the most amazing things to watch is definitely T as she lights up the beam. Her excitement radiates throughout the arena and her routine was a perfect routine to follow.

Moving to another bye, we had a little fun with glitter and jewels, and we know our honorary trainer Eitan really enjoyed that . When we came back to floor every single person was feeling the excitement as we prepared ourselves to perform at an even greater level. T started with an amazing set (no one can get in the air as high as she does and nail those landings like she can). Next was Weedge whose dance is literally beyond words at this point, and CJ whose double Arabian just continues to get higher and higher by the week. Blair was unbelievable making her Pac-10 floor debut and owning her routine.

With vault as our final rotation everyone was determined to vault even higher than normal. Blair began with a huge vault and CJ vaulted with her normal great body position. It was incredible to have Brownie back in the vault lineup and her height on her full is definitely unmatched. Weedge's vault continues to get even more beautiful and consistent every week, and Dayton's huge vault was a wonderful way to end our meet.

Although coming up short for our desired first place, we were very excited to learn a little more about what makes our team special. We truly have one another's backs and that is a beautiful thing to be a part of. We have room for improvement and with those improvements and our team chemistry we will be unstoppable the rest of the season. We all know what is going to happen the rest of the year and we believe it with every cell in our bodies! Go SWG!

Thanks for checking in!


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