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Inside the Locker Room: By Nicole Pechanec
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 11/23/2010

Nov. 23, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. - Dear SWG fans,

First off, we got The Axe! Watching our football team pummel its way through Cal, and pretty much every other team this season, brings nothing but motivation and fire as SWG gets ready for the start of its 2011 season. With only a few team practices left before our first big intrasquad in San Jose this mid-December, the "it only takes a day of practice to beat your best" mentality is exuded by each person on the team. Every practice, every routine, and every skill count, and each following one builds off of the previous one, only getting better. This is also our big push before a few days of Thanksgiving traveling and rest, therefore efficiency is key!

All week the team has been working hard on not only doing huge routines but focusing on detail as well. Looking over at bars, Daytona's reverse Hechts are sky high while her handstands are on spot. On beam, Shona's sharp dance and elegant technique brings yet another level of variety to our lineups. And glancing over at floor, you know Lauren and Ming are over there with Tabbs sweating bullets of awesomeness.

SWG is also always up for challenging little surprises, such as the guys team walking over and heckling us during a beam intrasquad. With inside jokes and obnoxious cheering they tried to shake us up, and while at first they thought they were succeeding, A-mo and Kristina in the back of the lineup showed them what's up.

On Friday, the usual Game Day was modified so that girls returning from injuries or working new events could showcase their hard work under pressure. Ming did an amazing floor routine with powerful tumbling, like a stud. Kristina is ready to go on beam, as is LC, who also brings yet more variety with her tall figure and crisp finishes. Seeing new girls step up on different events, thus adding depth to the lineups not only motivates the six girls currently in the lineup but is also extremely crucial once we get into our long season.

This week was also the annual Big Drive event. It is a competition between Cal, as well as among the Stanford varsity teams, where teams try to collect as many food cans as possible for the Second Harvest Food Bank. The Stanford wrestlers were always prime competition. This year however, the race was on. SWG went around neighborhoods collecting cans to snatch the win with 589 lbs. of canned goods. The best part about it though was that we had a blast and got to do it together.

As you can see, SWG is a family and I am beyond excited to be back. I was speechless as to how much of SWG, the traditions and values of the team, stuck with me throughout Worlds. This, however, can apply not only to other gymnastics competitions but to life after college as well. Being able, in a way, to zoom out showed me how much of an invaluable experience being part of Stanford Women's Gymnastics is and made me that much more excited to zoom right back in.

Get ready for SWG 2011 and thanks for checking in this week! CARDINAL RULES!

- Peach


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