Writing History

The tension surrounding our team while we were waiting for our final score on floor was palpable.  Having already secured a 3rd place position (a feat in and of itself), we needed Jimmy Pezzino to have scored a 14.6 to take 2nd place away from UIC.  When his score of 14.9 came up, there are no words to describe the level of excitement from our team.

The meet started with our team on Pommel Horse.  This event has been one of many ups and downs this season, but we could not have started off stronger.  After scoring our highest team score on Pommel, we carried the momentum and energy level throughout the entire meet.

I can honestly say that I have never been so elated in my gymnastics career as I was when I saw “Springfield College” in 2nd place.  Not only was this the first time we placed 2nd at ECAC’s in Coach Posner’s career here at SC (30 years), it was the first time we have ever taken down the University of Illinois-Chicago.  I would also like to congratulate the Temple gymnasts on a job extremely well done.

There was no better way to end our team season than this.  Everyone is prepared to take this energy and use it in preparing for next season.  We will hopefully be sending a few gymnasts to the NCAA meet in Oklahoma in a couple weeks, and I wish them the best of luck.

Until next time; Go. Pride. Fight!

Bittersweet

After a very long training season, we have finally come to the culmination of our hard work.  The SC Gymnastics team is traveling to Philadelphia to compete in the ECAC competition.  For many, this is the last meet and the end of our season.  For some who have done exceptionally well during the season, there will be a couple more weeks of training before the NCAA competition in Oklahoma.

Last weekend we traveled to Colorado for the USAG competition.  Although the scenery was beautiful and the Olympic Training Center a sight to see, the long hours of flight and high altitude proved adversarial to our team, and we had a less then stellar group performance.  I would like to congratulate those who made it to finals and earned All American on several events: Jimmy Pezzino (winning floor, placing on vault), Alex McCabe (placing on floor), Ryan Ponce (winning Rings), and Ty Evans (placing on vault, parallel bars, and high bar).

As a team, we are going to explode into the Temple arena.  We are fired up after falling short of our goals in Colorado, and we are looking to make a big showing in Philly.  The sense of excitement is always matched with a bitter taste as we pass through our last practice as a team.  However, the summer is full of opportunities for growth, and next year will be another great season.

Until next time; Go, Pride, Fight!

Big Week for SC Gymnastics

In a span of seven days, the SC Men’s Gymnastics team competed in three meets (1 away, 2 home).  On March 4, we went to West Point to face Army and Temple.  March 9, Army came to us, and March 11, William and Mary came here as well.

The tri-meet against the Black Knights and the Owls was not our greatest showing.  We had a couple strong events, but also a couple of weak events.  We ended up with a team score of 323.9. There isn’t much to say about the meet other than the fact that it made us hungry for more.  We went into the gym ready to prepare for the 2 home meets of the upcoming weekend.

Friday’s meet against Army was a nail-biter.  We are both teams with very similar skill levels.  It all comes down to which team has the cleaner sets and scores better.  Going into the 5th rotation, we were only behind by four tenths of a point.  By the end, no one knew which team had won.  It turned out that Army barely came ahead, winning 331.2 to our 330.

Still amped up from two days before, we came into Sunday ready to take on the Tribe of William and Mary.  We had beaten them by one tenth of a point at the Navy Open at the beginning of the year.  However, since we hadn’t seen them since then, we weren’t sure how much they had improved.  It was another extremely close meet.  In the last rotation, it was still any team’s competition to win.  We ended up squeaking by with a 332.7 (our season high) to their 331.8.

The team is now pumped.  We haven’t even hit our peak in the season yet.  We’ll be hosting the New England Invitational this Saturday (March 17), so come out to support us if you can.  We’re really looking forward to the USAG Championships in Colorado at Air Force and then ECAC Championships at Temple in Philadelphia in the coming month.

Until next time; Go, Pride, Fight!

A Common Question

When someone finds out that I’m a gymnast, one of the most common questions I get is, “Is it hard doing what you do?” (It’s up there with “Can you do a flip?” and “Do you do that beam thing?”)  It’s always an interesting question to me, because I don’t really know how to answer it.  I have to give a combination yes/no answer.

Gymnastics is, without a doubt, one of the most mentally and physically pressing sports in the world.  It takes strength, agility, and balance as well as patience and confidence, among many other things.  We have an extremely long season, but even when the season ends, we jump right into preparing for the next season with nearly no break in between.  Gymnasts leave practice bloodied, broken, and exhausted, but also with a sense of pride and achievement.

On the flip side, this is a sport that almost all of us have been doing for the vast majority of our lives.  We are used to being perpetually sore, and a day when our bodies don’t hurt is rare and feels unnatural.  The feeling of improvement and growth is what keeps us practicing day in and day out.

And even though gymnastics is technically an individual sport, there is nothing like having a team at your back.  The sense of camaraderie that forms while we spend hours each day together is incredible.  We drive each other to fight through the pain and keep pushing to victory.  Even during the bad days, the support from a team keeps you going.

So, yes, gymnastics is hard.  But I would not trade the experiences and lessons I’ve learned for anything.

The SC Pride will be facing the Black Knights of Army and the Temple Owls this coming Sunday.  I’m extremely excited to show how we’ve improved over the last two weeks.  I will keep all of you updated.

Until next time; Go, Pride, Fight!

SC vs. Temple & UIC

This past weekend, the Pride took a trip down to Philadelphia to take on Temple and the University of Illinois-Chicago in a tri-meet.  The team has been vastly improving since our first meet, and the intensity at this meet was extremely high.  Although it was not our highest team score of the season thus far (320.5), it was by far our best showing as a whole team, and we just fell short of beating UIC.

Everyone in the gym is excited to get the next two weeks to make our routines even stronger before the next meet.  We are planning to hold nothing back in order to condition ourselves further this week.

The biggest thing to take from this weekend’s meet was that we showed we are not a team to ignore.  The SC Men’s Gymnastics team is leaving everything in the arena, and we will make sure our competition knows we’re a force to be reckoned with.

Until next time; Go, Pride, Fight!