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Salzano Set for Sophomore Season


By Lia Salzano for WVUsports.com
November 27, 2012 03:16 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Sophomore Lia Salzano’s hard work is finally paying off. A three-event specialist (vault, bars, beam) as a rookie, she spent the majority of the season plugging holes as they appeared in lineups. But she wasn’t satisfied with that role. Determined to secure weekly lineup spots her second season, she has worked hard throughout the 2013 preseason, and following the Mountaineers’ Fall Classic, she likes the results she is seeing from her steadfast approach to improvement.

Tumblers’ Tales will track the West Virginia University gymnastics team throughout the fall, as each gymnast will take the time to write an update for Mountaineer Nation. Salzano, a Centerville, Va., native, scored seven top-10 finishes in 2012, including a fourth-place finish in her career beam debut with a season-high 9.825 score.

After pushing herself to the limit since September, Salzano welcomed Thanksgiving break with open arms, as she returned home and visited her club gym, Capital Gymnastics. Read on as she highlights the team’s Fall Classic and her time away from Morgantown….



The team went into Thanksgiving break on a high note after our Fall Classic. I always look forward to this intrasquad because not only is it a lot of fun, but we also get to have a little taste of season and see where we’re at before crunch time really hits. I almost forgot how much fun we have as a team going out there and showing off our stuff. The Fall Classic was a great reminder, and everyone did so well!

I was especially impressed with our three freshmen. I’m sure they were nervous, but you can’t even tell when you watch them. Melissa (Idell) and Jaida (Lawrence) both did great floor routines, which I am excited to see as they get more confident and sassy. Beth (Deal) had a new mount on beam that she learned days before the intrasquad, and she competed it like she had been working it for years. The four of us (Kaylyn Millick, Hope Sloanhoffer and Lawrence) that did all-around hit everything, which was also kind of cool. Also, vault was a breeze – our lineup is so deep this year, and that is awesome.

For me, Fall Classic was exactly what I needed to get confident with my routines for this season. It felt great to do all four and see what it was like. I’m so excited! I think my favorite part of the day was when we got to floor and got to dance and goof off with everyone’s routines. We really know how to cause a scene, that’s for sure! With the new floor routines this year, we have a lot of new moves and funny little things we can do during each routine, and I can’t wait to bring those out at our first meet.

I also have to say a special thanks to the baseball, wrestling and women’s soccer teams for showing up and cheering us on. All of the fans that showed up that day were awesome! It made it that much more fun to have a little crowd come by for support.

After all of that hard work, and all the hard work we’ve been doing in the classroom, too, it was finally time for Thanksgiving break. Our coaches encouraged us to take this time to relax and spend it with our families. I don’t think anyone could argue with that. This was our final little break before season gets into full swing, and we needed to take full advantage. I spent my break hanging out with my family, catching up with friends and watching a ton of movies and One Tree Hill. Of course, I also ate a lot of good, home-cooked meals.

We had all of my family come over to our house for Thanksgiving, and it was a large crowd. I love my family though, and I was thankful for every minute of it! We spent the night sitting around a bonfire just soaking in the fact that we were all together, which is so rare these days. It’s also always fun to go back and visit your club gym and the coaches and teammates you left behind. It was so weird going back the first time, but now I’m used to it.

Those 10 days at home flew by, and now it’s time to get back to reality. It’s a bittersweet feeling, because while I’m going to miss my family and friends back home, I am ready to get back to school and back to my new routines. Also, I was afraid I was going to have separation anxiety from my roommates Beth, Dayah (Haley) and Maci (Sump)!

Now that we are all recharged from this nice long break, I’m sure the team is ready to get back in Cary Gym and pick up right where we left off. Our Gold & Blue intrasquad is coming up on December 6 at the WVU Coliseum. I know the 2013 season is going to fly by, and I am already wishing time could stand still. It’s going to be a blast, and I can’t wait to see what success is in store for this team.

Let’s Go Mountaineers!



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