The West Virginia University gymnastics team is about four weeks into its preseason, and as junior Erica Smith writes, the Mountaineers are busy adding flare and depth to their routines.
Tumblers’ Tales will track the team throughout the fall, as each gymnast will take the time to write an update for Mountaineer Nation. Smith, a native of Blue Springs, Mo., is back at WVU for her second season with the Mountaineers. One of the team’s strongest bars workers, she scored 9.8 or better on the apparatus five times in 2012 and reached the podium twice. After competing on beam, too, throughout the backend of the season, she hopes to add vault and floor to her competition slate this year.
What changes has Smith made to her routines during the 2013 preseason? And what one bucket list item is she hoping to knock off soon? Read on to find out…..
Going into my second year at WVU, I thought things would settle down into a routine, but it has been anything but that! That’s what I love about being a student-athlete at WVU – there’s always something new coming my way, like new friendships with the incoming freshmen and watching my teammates grow from last year.
Every preseason is different from the last, and this one feels like it came so fast! We’re at the point where we are working our way into routines, adding in additions and making improvements to get us ready for season. Last year, I competed on bars and beam, so this year I’m just cleaning up those routines. On bars, I’m trying to work on putting in my Khorkina to add some extra flare to my routine, and on beam I’m cleaning things up and upgrading to a new series which also is coming along well.
This year, the team is really focusing on climbing higher. In my eyes, climbing higher is working my way into being able to contribute on all four events. My vaults are improving, and hopefully by the time season gets here they will be perfected and I can do my part in contributing to the team. For floor, I’m putting passes together into a routine and working on endurance to be able to compete them. My goal this year is to be able to do my part in helping get our team to nationals! I would love to be able to compete all four events again. Practices have been going well, so I know I’m on my way.
The cold weather is coming to Morgantown, and I am not too excited about it. The one thing that keeps me going is the other sports on campus. I absolutely love all things sports, especially football! I love how it brings so many people together. Mountaineer fans really take football very seriously, so I fit in just perfect here! I love the atmosphere at the games. My teammates and I jump and scream our heads off until we lose our voices! When I am standing in the crowd, I feel like I’m surrounded by family.
On the other hand, my love for sports from my hometown area doesn’t mesh well with a lot of people in Morgantown. My favorite MLB team is the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals (I hope they pull it off again this year!), and my favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys. Though a lot of my classmates don’t seem to be fans of either of those teams, I proudly sport my jerseys whenever I can. I love my teams, especially the Cowboys! I have been a fan for as long as I can remember, and my dream is to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader for one season. Let’s hope I can cross it off my bucket list one day!
Let’s Go Mountaineers!