MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Junior Hope Sloanhoffer knows what it takes to be a champion. The 2012 EAGL Gymnast of the Year and the league’s vault, bars and all-around winner, she is quickly proving to be one of the most talented gymnasts to ever don an Old Gold and Blue leotard, and by her assessment, the Mountaineers are going to put an extremely talented team on the floor in 2013.
Tumblers’ Tales will track the squad throughout the fall, as each gymnast will take the time to write an update for Mountaineer Nation. Sloanhoffer, a Cornwall, N.Y., native, emerged as a top 25 gymnasts last season. A two-time team MVP, she is expected to again compete on all four events this season, and her coaches believe she is hitting her best gymnastics to date.
Though hard at work refining her own routines, Sloanhoffer can’t help but notice the improvement her teammates also are making. She’s most impressed by the underclassmen’s efforts, and she believes tomorrow’s Fall Classic should help push this team to greatness in the final six weeks of preseason.
As we enter into the 13th week of the fall semester, I think we can all agree that this semester has flown by! As classes begin to wind down and Thanksgiving break is in sight, I think everyone is eager for a little break. We are all excited to trade the stress of school and the intense work we have been putting in at Cary Gym every day for some quality time with our families for the holiday. But before the team heads out of Morgantown for break, we have our much anticipated Fall Classic on Tuesday.
The Fall Classic is always really exciting but also extremely nerve wracking because the realization that season is coming finally hits! The team this year is definitely the strongest I have seen in my time at WVU. In just a few months, I have watched the freshmen grow and improve so much in their gymnastics. I can see all three of the freshmen stepping up in their own way and showing a genuine eagerness to improve more and more every day in the gym.
The sophomore class has also truly stepped it up this preseason. It was so encouraging to see Beth Deal
, Lia Salzano
and Dayah Haley
return from summer stronger than before. I also have been extremely impressed with the amount of depth we have on every event this year. We have so many amazing routines on every event, and I feel like as a team we are in an excellent spot to make our inaugural year in the Big 12 an unforgettable one.
I think the Fall Classic on Tuesday will give us some great insight on where we need some improvement, and it also will increase our confidence when we see the areas where we are strong and ready for competition. This intrasquad is always a great way to see where we are as a team and where we are with regards to being able to hit under pressure. Having this intrasquad is super beneficial to all of us because it kick starts our mental preparation for season - which is right around the corner.
As I enter into my third season of gymnastics at WVU, I am more than ecstatic. I cannot wait for season to come! The energy of this team has not changed at all - we are still absolutely insane and I love it! The amount of Mountaineer pride that resides in this team is also absolutely incredible. The realization that we are competing and doing gymnastics for something so much greater than us has a way of pumping us up and pushing us forward even more. I have seen this team already push past various obstacles and through adversity throughout preseason, and I cannot wait to see how it benefits us this year.
Albert Schweitzer once said, “One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.”
I’m so excited to see how this season unfolds, and I look forward to seeing all of our amazing fans – spanning from Utah to Morgantown - in the stands. Your first chance to see us in action is December 6 at the Gold-Blue Meet in the Coliseum! Hope to see you there!
Let’s Goooooooo Mountaineers!