MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Six weeks into the 2013 preseason, the West Virginia University gymnasts are beginning to see vast improvements in their routines. As junior Amanda Carpenter writes, repetition and a willingness to work hard are going to pay off for the Mountaineers this year.
Tumblers’ Tales will track the team throughout the fall, as each gymnast will take the time to write an update for Mountaineer Nation. Carpenter, a Lancaster, Pa., native, broke into the Mountaineers’ lineup last year on beam, competing on the event in all but one meet and counting toward the team score 10 times. After placing within the top five four times, she earned All-EAGL Beam Second Team honors.
The WVU coaches are anxious to watch Carpenter compete this year, as they think she is on the cusp of a break-out season and is finally realizing her full potential. For her part, Carpenter is fully ready to take on a tougher workload, having put in extra time in the gym to develop a new floor routine. She also is making progress on vault and bars, an event she particularly enjoys. Read along as Carpenter details her progress in the gym and gives the fans a glimpse of the preparation all of the Mountaineers are doing in anticipation of 2013….
I can't believe how fast this year is already going by! Preseason is starting to slow down a little bit, and we are starting to work our way to full routines. Everything thus far has been going really smoothly. All of the freshmen have transitioned rather well, and we are very excited for them to be here. This preseason was very different from last year; I think that it has actually been harder. We have had a lot more Coliseum stairs and sprint workouts, but every single one of us finished our workouts like champs, and that's why I think we are in the best shape that we have ever been going into season.
Now that we are starting to put together full routines, it’s exciting to see how far we have come in the last year. The whole team has grown so much in so many different ways. I have been working really hard in the gym cleaning up my beam routine. The routine itself has pretty much stayed the same, but I am trying to be more confident without ever doubting myself. I'm hoping this will help me throughout the whole season so that I can possibly earn a spot in the beam line up. I am also working on my floor routine and transitioning my passes onto the hard floor. I changed my music and choreography, and I love them both because they fit my personality and dance style a lot better than my previous routines.
One of my greatest accomplishments from summer training is my vault. I'm finally able to twist my vault on to the big resi mat, which I have not been able to do for about three years due to past injuries. I am pushing very hard to get my vault on the hard landings, and I consider myself successful so far.
Last, but not least, I also have been working on bars. Slowly but surely, I’m getting my shoulders stronger so I can put together a routine. Bars might be one of the most frustrating events to me because it’s my favorite event and used to come so naturally. Since my injuries, I have had to slow things down and take very good quality turns.
I am super excited for season to start, as is the rest of my team. Meets are always a blast, and we always have so much energy. I never really got excited to compete before until last season. College gymnastics is so much different from club gymnastics because you compete for your team and not just yourself; you know that your whole team is behind you to support you, and they have complete confidence in you.
This week has been a lot of fun because we got to be film our in-meet videos. It's always so inspiring and fun to watch these videos. Last year’s gave me goose-bumps, but I think this year’s videos might be even better. I got to dance around with my two best friends, Maci Sump
and Jamie Judge
, and there's nothing I love to do more than dance with my girls!
Let’s go Mountaineers!