MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Every West Virginia University sports squad goes through a little team bonding throughout its preseason, and the gymnastics team is no different. As sophomore Beth Deal writes, a few spooks, jumps and good laughs were all it took for the Mountaineers to solidify their team chemistry last week.
Tumblers’ Tales will track the team throughout the fall, as each gymnast will take the time to write an update for Mountaineer Nation. Deal, a Parkersburg, W.Va., native, returns for her second season at WVU looking to build on the immediate impact she made as a freshman. A skilled beam worker, she helped the Mountaineers clinch their seventh East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) title last March with a career best, first-place 9.9 score.
Now proud members of the Big 12 Conference, Deal knows winning a league title in the team’s new home will be more difficult, but she believes the Mountaineers’ confidence and hard work will take them far this season. In fact, she believes that she and her teammates have all the necessary tools to march straight to the 2013 NCAA National Championships. Read along as Deal details the progress the Mountaineers are making in Cary Gym and the team’s trip to Fright Farm…
I can’t believe how fast this year is flying by! Only a year ago I was an incoming freshman - like a kid walking into a candy store, I was so thrilled and excited to be a part of this team! At the blink of an eye, season was here then gone, and now we’re getting down to the end of the 2013 preseason.
Knowing what to expect going into this year has made it easier for me mentally. Workouts are tough, but they need to be in order to get us in shape for the start of the season. The team chemistry is awesome! The freshmen are adapting extremely well, and they’re a perfect fit – they’re just as crazy as the rest of us! There’s never a dull moment in or out of the gym.
Last week, a majority of the team and coaches went to Fright Farm. It was an absolute blast! We built a fire and made s’mores while laughing and taking tons of pictures. My favorite part of the night was when we were on a hayride and a zombie was chasing after us. (Assistant coach) Travis (Doak) was so scared that he jumped off the wagon and lost his shoe. We were all laughing so hard, we were crying! (Head coach) Jason (Butts) was leading the pack the whole way through the haunted house. It was pretty funny to see him jump and run past the people scaring us! So many good memories were made, and we can joke about them for a long time.
Our Fall Classic intrasquad is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more prepared for it. All of the girls are looking stronger than ever, and the attitude and energy in Cary Gym is great! Routines are getting more consistent and cleaned up. (Assistant coach) Bridget (Boyd) comes up with some fun beam assignments that are challenging and help prepare us for the season and everything it takes in order to nail our beam routines.
My beam routine is pretty much the same as last year’s; I’m just working on consistency and confidence while I’m competing. My vault is coming along well, and I’m making a lot of progress on bars. Just about everyone is working on a new floor routine, and they all look phenomenal!
I’m so excited for season to get here and to show everyone what an amazing team we are. We have the motivation and potential to reach our ultimate goal – the NCAA National Championships. The way we ended last season, clenching first place at EAGL’s and putting together a stellar performance at the Auburn Regional, gives us the confidence that we can do it all. I am so thankful and blessed to be apart of this remarkable team!
Let’s Gooooo Mountaineers!