March 2, 2008
Stanford, Calif. - In our six-part series featuring all six of the Stanford women's gymnastics senior class, we focus today on Lauren Elmore. A native of Bloomington, Ind., Elmore has been a solid contributor on balance beam and floor exercise this season. She has high scores of 9.900 on floor this season against California and 9.900 on balance beam at the NCAA Regional during her freshman season.
She has helped the Cardinal out to a 9-4 record on the season and a No. 9 national ranking. Elmore will be competing for the final time at home this Friday, Mar. 7 at Maples Pavilion at 7:00 p.m. Come cheer on Elmore and the five other Stanford women's gymnastics seniors for one last time this Friday.
Seven Questions with Lauren Elmore:
1. Why did you choose Stanford?
I chose Stanford because it has the best mix of athletics and academics available. But in addition to that, I really loved the team here. It just seemed to fit.
2. How has Stanford women's gymnastics changed you since you came in
as a freshman?
We have come a long way since our freshman year. I don't think anyone who wasn't a part of the team that year can really appreciate the changes that have come over this team. In addition to improving our ranking from barely top 20 to 5th last year, we have grown and learned a lot about ourselves, Stanford Women's Gymnastics, and the sport. We have gone through a lot, and because of that we have come to an understanding of what it means to be a part of a team, and especially a part of this team. We have found a passion for the sport and for this program that we hope will be carried on after we leave. Over the last four years we have created an atmosphere that is fun to be a part of. Team chemistry is something that has become a strength for this team. It is more than doing well, it is about working hard, loving what we're doing, loving who we're doing it with, and doing well together. That is what makes this fun, and that is the biggest change that has occurred since our freshman year.
3. What is your most memorable meet these past four years?
My most memorable meet in the past four years is Regionals last year. After having not gone to NCAA's the two previous years, we were ready to go. We had been doing well all year, and this year it was going to happen, without a doubt. However, after a fall on bars, memories of 2006 came flooding back. But we weren't going to let that happen again. We went to beam and we nailed it one right after another. I remember being in the corral during that beam rotation and looking at Tabbs and she said "this is what it is supposed to be like." Looking each other in the face and realizing all our hard work was finally coming through; having that feeling, at that time, when we finally were living up to our potential was great. I don't think I'll ever forget that feeling. We went on to do it again at NCAA's.
4. Describe a memorable off the court moment as a team in your time at
It is hard to pick just one memorable moment. Between the retreats, the various parties at Kristen's, trips to the beach, and the traveling there are so many to choose from. The retreats really stick out in my mind. The trip to Yosemite last year was one of my favorites. One day we did a scavenger hunt around the park. We started with alarm clocks going off outside our tent. Our group was a little slow to catch on. Finally Scott knocked on the door and told us we might want the stuff outside our door. It was fun to work in small groups for the day and to face challenges both mental and physical. And of course we all love a chance to be competitive. One of the greatest memories from the day was when my group hitchhiked. We got a guy to give us a ride to the next station, and even found him again later. A close second, however, was sitting in the freezing water for a minute. The game finished with climb to the top of Vernal Falls that was hard but rewarding. It was a great end to the challenge to be together with everyone at the top.
5. What is your favorite class at Stanford?
I have enjoyed many of the classes I've taken here. I really liked a lot of my economics classes. I love classes that are applicable to my life. My favorite class is an introsem called Fail Your Way to Success. It is probably the most life-applicable class I have taken. Everything we talked about related to our own experiences, and as the title suggests, how to turn failures into success. Failure is a fact of life, and failure is an event. It has causes and there are many lessons to be learned from it. Taking a class that examines failures, teaches leadership skills, and allows one to use and learn from personal experiences on a daily basis is really fun. In addition to what I learned, the class always ends up being pretty close knit and I enjoyed getting to know everyone in the class and Professor Clough.
6. What is something you would tell any aspiring gymnast?
Find your passion. If that's gymnastics, great. Stick with it. Don't lose your passion for the sport. It is what keeps you going in the hard times and makes the good times that much better. If you are really passionate about what you are doing, be it gymnastics, school, or anything else in life, everything will flow from that. That passion will push you to work hard, to set goals, and to believe in yourself. Those things are all important to success, but if you have a passion and love for the sport, you'll have it all.
7. What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Next year I will be working as a consulting associate for Cambridge Associates in Menlo Park.