Though sophomore Dayah Haley is at home in Pasadena, Md., taking advantage of a few days off from Cary Gym, one constant remains on her mind – the upcoming 2013 West Virginia University gymnastics season. As much should be expected of a student-athlete that is poised to heavily factor into her team’s success.
Tumblers’ Tales will track the WVU gymnastics team throughout the preseason, as each gymnast will take the time to write an update for Mountaineer Nation. Haley returns for her second season as a Mountaineer armed with the tools for a special sophomore campaign. A two-event athlete in 2012, she saw action in 12 meets and scored 221.125 points. A finalist for the EAGL Rookie of the Year honor, she was a steady constant on vault, opening the lineup and scoring 9.75 or better five times. She peaked at the end of the season, scoring a career-best 9.8 on bars at the EAGL Championship and a career-best 9.8 on vault at the NCAA Auburn Regional.
Haley has tasted success, and she’s ready for more. Confident that she and her teammates can march through the season and claim a bid to the 2013 NCAA Championships, she is ready to show off all the hard work they’ve put in over the last four months. As she writes below, it’s back to business for the Mountaineers after their holiday break…
Preseason this year has been such an experience. The freshmen have come in and meshed so well with the team – that’s really been amazing. Jaida, Melissa and Gina have helped make the last four months a lot of fun!
Just like last year, preseason has flown by; it feels like we just got back on campus yesterday, and now we’re already reflecting on our Gold-Blue meet. As always, I’m confident in this team, and I have a strong feeling that this is going to be a great season! We have an amazing coaching staff, and I couldn’t possibly imagine a more wonderful group of people to have by my side while competing.
This year’s Gold-Blue meet was a bit of a different experience for me. Unlike last year, when we competed at Pitt, we held this year’s intrasquad at the Coliseum. I liked this setup much better – competing in the Coliseum really gives the freshmen an edge heading into the season. I remember struggling to stay on the equipment during my first meet at the Coliseum – they’re very lucky to get that experience!
The intrasquad this year was amazing. I feel as though the team is exactly where we should be going into our season opener. Not only are we prepared, but we’re in a better place now than we were at this point last season. The Gold-Blue meet is an eye-opener and helps prepare us for the season – I couldn’t be more excited!
With season right around the corner, and the stress of the school semester behind us, I’m glad we now have the chance to relax with family and friends over Christmas break. These days off give us a chance to clear our heads for a few days and get our minds off everything. Christmas is my favorite holiday – I love waking up early and seeing all of the presents under the tree and spending time with all of the people I love! Of course, the cookies and candy are wonderful, too!
When we get back to Morgantown, we’ll have two more weeks of preseason before our Jan. 11 season opener at Pitt. Those two weeks can be stressful, as everyone is striving to make the lineup and putting 100 percent of herself into attaining one of those top six spots. It can be difficult sometimes when you are so close to the season’s start and you haven’t been in an intrasquad lineup as much as you hoped, but like coach Butts says, each person outside of lineup is pushing the girls ahead of her. As a team, it’s important to push each other – that’s what makes us better as a whole, and that is what is going to get us to the National Championships this year. With plenty of hard work and effort, I know we’re going to take that next step and earn a spot at NCAAs.
I love my team, and I’m very proud to be a Mountaineer! I wish all of Mountaineer Nation a fantastic holiday season!
Let’s Gooo Mountaineers!