Jan. 18, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford gymnast Sean Senters, competing for the first time in over a year, posted the highest score in the country in vault (15.200) against California last week. A member of four Pennsylvania state championship teams as a member of the Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center, the redshirt freshman from Center Valley, Penn. sat down to discuss his road to Stanford, the strength of the team and what he misses most about home.
How did you end up at Stanford?
"Stanford was really high on my list of universities and I was stunned when I got in, I didn't think I'd ever be able to. I wanted to come in and contribute right away. At Junior Nationals my senior year, during floor routine I landed my first tumbling pass and felt my knee buckle. Right away my heart sank, I knew I was injured. Stanford's medical staff did a great job bringing me back slow and over the summer I started really training again. Last weekend was the beginning of the payoff and I really felt that rush from competing that I was missing."
What's it like working with coaches Thom Glielmi and Brett McClure?
"Working with Thom is great and it's one of the main reasons I chose to come here, to be able to work with him and Brett. They have a big picture view of the season and they've been through this before and know the biggest part of the season is in April. Under their guidance the team will improve its conditioning and execution over the next few months as we get closer to nationals. Their leadership and belief in your ability to hit your routine and help your team gives you a huge confidence boost."
How did last season's national championship team influence you?
"Last year the older guys showed me the dedication it takes when your goal is to compete at the elite level at national championships in April. Veterans like Alex Buscaglia, Josh Dixon, Tim Gentry and Ryan Lieberman were so motivated all year and the intensity they brought to the gym every day was incredible. This year we want to emulate that success from last season and we're ready to put in the work and carry the program forward."
What do you enjoy the most about gymnastics?
"Pommel horse is my favorite event, even though I have a love/hate relationship with it. Last year when I hurt my knee it was the only event I was able to do and I was doing it all the time. I would love to be able to compete in all six events this season, it's what you're in the gym training for. I have confidence in myself in all six events and I'll do whatever helps our team."
What's your relationship like with your family? "My parents are great, they've always been so supportive of me. My sister runs track at Lafayette College and I have a twin brother, Timmy, who has autism. He's not as into gymnastics as I am but he plays tennis, baseball and soccer. He's more well rounded than I am since I've been focused on gymnastics for so long. He's finishing up high school and my relationship with him has been great, we share a really special bond. He's one of the happiest people I know and to be able to fall back on him whenever I need to is a blessing. That's one thing I struggle with out here, being away from my family."
Favorite Thom Glielmi Quote - "Strength comes in the struggle."