Richardson Ready for Senior Season


By Shannon McNamara for WVUsports.com
December 06, 2012 02:11 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Senior Alaska Richardson has been anticipating this moment for a long time – the start of her final season as a member of the West Virginia University gymnastics team. Ready to make a name for herself and her teammates nationally, but not at all prepared to soon walk away from the team, school and sport she loves, Richardson will walk onto the WVU Coliseum floor tonight with mixed emotions.

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. Richardson, a Dayton, Ohio, native, is poised for one special senior season. One of the nation’s most talented and powerful floor workers, she was an All-EAGL First Team honoree on the event last season, as she scored 9.8 or better 10 times throughout the year. Also one of the team’s top vaulters, and an All-EAGL First Team member, she is expected to anchor both events this year. She also is slated to make her career beam debut, too.

Richardson will lead the Mountaineers tonight in their annual Gold-Blue intrasquad, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum. As she writes below, fans are in for a real treat, as the squad looks to prove for the first time this season why it has what it takes to make a push for a NCAA Championships bid…



Thanksgiving has come and gone, and believe it or not, Christmas is right around the corner. Before we all venture out to spend time with family and friends once again, WVU gymnastics has yet another show to put on for our Mountaineer fans!

Tonight is our Gold-Blue intrasquad! Since the Fall Classic, which took place right before Thanksgiving break (and my Turkey team totally dominated), we all have been in the gym perfecting our routines and getting ready to transfer everything from Cary Gym to the Coliseum. I am confident in everyone’s abilities, and there is no doubt that this team is ready for the 2013 season that is quickly approaching.

And if anyone is wondering…yes, the craziness lives on this year! Between each of the events, you WILL catch the team dancing to the music and being our goofy selves. We will be trying to persuade our celebrity judges - the wonderful Amanda Mazey, Bill Hahn and former gymnast Amy Bieski - to give us BIG scores! I even brought back a dance my younger sisters made up, and I taught it to the whole team. It fits perfectly to ANY song that’s playing; it could be fast or slow! It is a lot of fun to do, and Kaylyn Millick and I have added on to it, too. Now, all we have to do is teach (coach) Jason Butts a move or two, and we will be set!

Let’s also not forget the dancing and whacky antics during our team’s floor routines. I’m sure that’s what everyone will be looking forward to tonight - I know I am!

Our theme this year is to Climb Higher. Branching off from such an amazing season last year, winning the EAGL title and finishing so well at regionals, West Virginia gymnastics is back with new routines and more will-power to focus on what’s in front of us and approach every step and challenge with our heads held high. We possess a strong will to fight! We never gave up last year, and this year will be the same, I’m sure of it.

It’s weird to think that this will be the last time I do anything like this. Seems like yesterday I was just a freshman, walking into the Coliseum with butterflies in my stomach, saying to myself, “Wow, this is truly a dream come true.” But when I actually think about it, it really has been a dream come true. I have been blessed with the opportunity to compete for the Mountaineers for four years, and with my fellow seniors by my side, we are going to go out with a BANG!

I have worked so hard with sticking my vault landings and becoming more confident and consistent with my new and upgraded floor routine. I have even pushed myself to stay on the balance beam! Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!? The team is ready for sure, and I cannot wait to get this show on the road. Everyone is in for a delightful treat!

Let's Go Mountaineers!




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