April 21, 2008
April 14, 2008
April 7, 2008
March 31, 2008
March 17, 2008
March 10, 2008
March 3, 2008
February 19, 2008
February 5, 2008
January 21, 2008
January 14, 2008
January 6, 2008
December 26, 2007
December 10, 2007
December 3, 2007
November 26, 2007
November 19, 2007
November 12, 2007
November 5, 2007
October 29, 2007
October 23, 2007
October 15, 2007
October 8, 2007
October 1, 2007
September 26, 2007
September 12, 2007
August 16, 2007
April 21, 2008
B-b-b-b-baddd.....bad to the boneeee....b-b-b-baddd....that's what SWG is. And by baddd, I'm referring to complete and utter awesomeness. You better believe it. I honestly do not know anyone more committed, determined, and hungry for collaborative success than the members of the Stanford Women's Gymnastics Team. We're "baddd" and ready to fight for this national championship. We are a force with which to be reckoned. So beware. :o) No, but seriously. After a solid performance at Regionals, we were ballers (ballers= really cool people who handle everything thrown their way) and ran up and down approximately 20 flights of stairs twice, swam, and did body shaping the morning after the competition in the hotel to prepare for a lengthy two day competition at NCAA's. Yeah, you know. I'd be jealous too if I were you :P And being even cooler ballers, we returned to the gym on Monday with a stronger determination to improve every skill and fine tune those details. Let's just say that each and every girl was flying higher, swinging more gracefully, tumbling with more ease, and having more fun than ever. :)
This week consisted of multiple intrasquads, where many improvements were made. We ran through a mock National Championship, complete with byes, gorgeous leotards, and all that sparkly fun stuff. Liz competed floor and gosh, all I can say is.... I don't know. I'm speechless. She performed a double layout that pretty much flew out of the ceiling while T, Elmo, CJ, and Purnell busted out their HUGE E-value tumbling passes (E-value= ridiculously difficult tumbling). Nikki added her triple flight series on beam and Steph did gorgeous yurchenko fulls on vault, which isn't surprising since her gymnastics defines beauty. These were only some of the highlights. There were many, many more, however listing them all at this moment might take years. Thus, I have refrained from doing so. Lo siento. But it will all be apparent when we step onto the floor in Georgia this coming week. Wooooo!!!! Get excited...it's going to be amazing! Well, thanks for reading and hope you check in next week. We'll have an exciting story for you. :)
April 14, 2008
Hey SWG fans,
We returned to campus last night after competing at our Regional at LSU. It was a great weekend, full of the energy and excitement that SWG brings wherever we go. From coming up with our crazy musicals to letting our studious sides come out watching "The Top 10 Most Extreme Rains" in the locker room before the meet, we enjoyed spending time together and reflecting on everything we have put into this season so far. The coaches decorated our locker room with quotes that we have brought in throughout the year, as well as an amazing poster of pictures from our fall retreat up to Pac-10s. Some of our favorites were the pictures of us collapsed all over the beach after completing the running circuit in Tahoe. Our seniors also performed their Regional cheer from freshman year and the frosh debuted theirs, which had us on the verge of tears (half from laughing so hard, and half from all the sentiment entwined in the memories they recalled). Jokes from our activities spilled over into the meet, creating everything from a new style of march-out to a theme of "Iron Rain."
Underneath all the fun and excitement, we had a sense of purpose and confidence as we walked out onto the floor. We started off a bit shaky on bars, but got all our nerves out there and rocked the rest of the meet. Our last three on bars stepped up and hit some huge routines, which helped put us into a good mindset going into beam. After our amazing beam rotation at Pac 10s, it was difficult to imagine beam getting any more exciting. But it definitely was, and it was hard for the team to stay put in the corral after each hit routine and stuck dismount. Both Nikki and Tabbs received a 10 from one of the judges, and everyone else did an amazing job as well. We had a bye before floor, where we got to rest, refuel, and laugh at some of Swiz's jokes (both intentional and accidental) before it was time to compete. Floor went well, and we were pretty jazzed up by the time vault rolled around. This resulted in some "moby" vaults, and our landings are getting better each weekend. It is exciting to know that even though we scored a season high of 197.525, we still have many areas where we are improving, and are doing so quickly enough that we will peak at just the right time. While LSU edged us out by one tenth, we see this weekend as a great stepping stone to NCAAs. We are all very motivated to get back in the gym and fix the small details that will make the difference when we compete in Athens in less than two weeks.
Thanks for checking in, and GO CARD!!
PS- Come support the men's gym team as they compete for the NCAA title this Friday at Maples!
April 7, 2008
As Carly said, we are proud to call ourselves the Pac-10 Champions. We have worked hard and definitely deserve it. Now, after our successful trip, we are back in the gym and working harder than ever on all of the little details that tripped us up at the last meet. It's actually pretty exciting to know that we are capable of achieving such great feats while still not performing at our best. It's fun to imagine what it will be like when everything comes together at the same time, which will happen because we have put in the work and we are peaking at just the right time.
Proof of this comes in the practice that we had today. Overall, we are beginning to taper so that our bodies will feel the best that they can come Nationals. But this afternoon we ran through the regional competition, byes and all. The girls on bars did an amazing job to start us off, with 6 for 6 hit routines with stuck dismounts. Beam was awesome too, with another 6 hit routines that were solid and confident. The beam team has been working hard on saving every tenth and making sure that there is nowhere for the judges to deduct, and it's really showing through. Floor was good as well, with some sky high passes from Tenaya, Carly, and Nikki, and great dance with lots of attitude and eye contact. Vault was our last event, and the girls have really been focusing on their body positions on landing, and you can really start to see the difference now.
All of the attention to detail and the dedication of this team have been really amazing, especially over these last couple of days. It is so much fun to see it all come together, especially knowing what we have gone through as a team up to this point. The next few weeks are going to fly by, but they are going to be so much fun. Stay tuned as SWG dives into the post season. It's going to be extremely exciting and thank you for all of your love and support. We couldn’t do it without you.
March 30, 2008
Hey SWG fans!
After coming off of a tiring few weeks of dead week, finals, and not to mention our hard push of the season, we are proud to call ourselves THE PAC-10 CHAMPS! That’s right, we had the Pac-10 Championships this weekend in Seattle hosted by the University of Washington Gymdogs. It was a long meet, but we focused our energy and belief in SWG and lit up the arena. Liz’s awesome sky-high bar routine (9.95 and Pac10 bar champ) gave the whole team a boost of energy and confidence on the start of our first event. We moved onto beam and hit 6 solid sets counting a 9.925 and 9.95. Next came floor which was less than our best but we proved to everyone that we are a tough team. Finally, we rocked vault with 6 great landings, a great finish to our night. Tabs claimed the all-around title (39.55) as well as receiving the well-deserved honor of Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year.
Although we just came off of finals and our minds aren’t ready for spring quarter to begin, 11 of the SWG girls were named to the Pac-10 All-Academic Gymnastics Team. Of the 12 Pac-10 gymnasts that made first-team All-American, 6 were from Stanford. I think that these numbers truly reflect our roles as student-athletes and the way this team values the importance of our education in combination with gymnastics.
Over the next two weeks we will be back at work perfecting skills, routines, and landings in preparation for the regional competition. Our passion, fire and love for each other showed on Saturday night and will continue to propel us forward in our journey as we enter the fun part of post-season competitions! Come join us for the ride!
March 17, 2008
As we come to the end of Winter quarter, our academic life starts to get a little busy. We have made it through the first week of our big conditioning and gymnastics push and through dead week. With finals fast approaching, we have a weekend off of competitions to focus on studying.
We all need a break from studying for a little bit, so the coaches set up flexible hours for us to come in on our own. Different final schedules and study times make it a little difficult to have team practices, but we are pretty good about keeping up our fitness and gymnastics level through this unscheduled week of practice. A lot of us have buddies that we go into the gym with to help push us and keep us motivated. The gym is also a great place to use our brains for something other than studying.
This time of season is a little stressful with finals taking over our minds and post-season coming up. Despite our brains being full of theories and equations, we keep in mind that the week after finals is Spring Break! It will be very nice to get a little break from classes and be able to refocus on our goals for the post-season.
Thanks for checking in!
March 10, 2008
"Time flies when you're having fun"
It's hard for me to believe that we are well into the second half of season, with only one more regular season meet. Even more so, it's hard to believe that Friday night was the last home meet this year, and the last ever for the six of us graduating.
Senior night was amazing and the six of us couldn't have asked for anything more. The crowd was awesome, we performed well, and the coaches had prepared a wonderful video tribute for the end of the night. In the words of Kristen, the team did a good job of "putting us out in style," including the seniorita costumes complete with sombreros. But beyond the excitement of senior night, something much deeper was ignited in the heart of SWG...something that will launch us forward to the end of season and our quest for a national championship. The "it" we had from the moment we walked out on the floor is hard to describe; a result of our combined desire, love, passion and excitement to do gymnastics…and to do it for each other. There's no doubt we have had all the pieces before, but it felt like we finally put them all together correctly on Friday night. We were embracing the moment and defining the experience for ourselves.
Though we are excited about the win and our performance this week, we definitely recognize there is still a lot of work to be done. The next couple weeks will be focused on getting stronger and doing lots of numbers to prepare ourselves for post season. Academically, it will be a tough two weeks as well as we approach dead week and finals. I have no doubt we will rise up to the challenge and come out stronger on the other side.
Thanks for checking in!
March 3, 2008
This week SWG traveled to Arizona State to participate in the Uno Classic. We did not have the performance we were looking for but showed moments of brilliance throughout the competition. Highlights came from Liz on bars, Allyse on beam, Elmo on floor, and Nikki on vault. While we are proud of these individual performances, we know that it is going to take a complete team effort to have a shot at the NCAA title. Heading into the home stretch, we continue to strive and push each other to reach our full potential and are encouraged by the steady progress we have made thus far.
The bus ride home really put things into perspective for us. Driving home from the airport, our bus caught on fire! It was a scary moment, but we were able to get everybody off the bus in one piece. Standing on the side of the road, I began to reflect on my experiences at Stanford and with my SWG family. The time has flown by since freshman year, and it is hard to believe that Friday night is the last time that the seniors will have a chance to perform in front of the home crowd. I am grateful for the time I have spent here and want to thank everyone for their support over the last four years. We appreciate all the encouragement and love you have shown us and hope to see you on Friday night, when the six of us say goodbye to the Stanford family we have come to love so dearly.
February 18, 2008
It is hard to believe that we are halfway through the regular season. With four regular season meets left, it seems as though the time has flown by and NCAAs are just around the corner.
The past two weeks have been pretty busy for SWG with competitions and mid-terms. We started off in Chicago for the Chicago Style Invitational and had the opportunity to have dinner at the Tricase’s house, where some of us had a blast playing in the snow. It was great to see so many parents at the meet because we have so many girls from the midwest including Kelly, Liz, Dani, Nikki, and Lauren. In addition, Heather's family surprised her by coming down from Canada, and my mom, along with Blair's and Tenaya's, was able to fly down as well. We had a great time competing in Chicago and got a little flashback to club competition. Although we didn't do as well as we had wanted to, we made some big strides on floor and had the opportunity to watch Lauren add in her piked-full and Tenaya compete her double layout with a little help from Mike.
After enjoying some pretty mild weather in Chicago for this time of year, we traveled to Iowa State where negative temperatures awaited our arrival. This meet was a great opportunity for us to test out our depth and add some new faces into the line-up. We had a great rotation on bars and vault but experienced some uncharacteristic falls on beam and floor. After a long weekend, we came home and were ready to get back into the gym to continue to make improvements on each event and work on our mistakes from the weekend.
At the end of the week, we traveled to Oregon State and got to test our depth one more time when Weedge got a case of the stomach flu on competition day. We started off with a great rotation on bars but experienced some trouble on beam. Despite coming back strong on floor and vault, we were not able to catch up to the Beavers. Coming home, we learned a lot about our team and what we are capable of. We also took some time to take a step back and reflect on the bigger picture surrounding this season. We know the areas that need the work on and look forward to our next home meet to put those improvements into action. Come and support us as we take on ASU in our "Pink Meet" this coming up Sunday at 2PM in Burnham Pavilion. We look forward to seeing you there and thanks for checking in!
February 5, 2008
I want to start out by giving a shout out to our Men's and Women's Basketball teams. The boys battled back from a 9-point deficit with 10 minutes left and went on to win the game by 2 points in over time! On the women's side, Candice Wiggins recently made history by becoming Stanford's all-time leading scorer.
Stanford has been a pretty inspiring place lately. Students around campus are leading political rallies to encourage others to vote in the California primary and upcoming election. I was personally inspired by one speaker's passion and unwavering faith in his candidate. It truly is amazing that a woman or African-American has the opportunity to make history by becoming the next President of the United States.
Coming back to campus after losing to UCLA by .025 was definitely tough, but I think that our team has been able to feed off of the energy and inspiration around campus. We're motivated by the opportunity to make our own history not only at Stanford but also in the world of college gymnastics. There are only four teams that have ever won NCAAs, and we believe that we can be the next team to break into that group. The practices following the loss and yesterday's intrasquad show that we have the character and strength to make it happen. We are excited about the upcoming competitions in Chicago and Iowa and continue to upgrade and make changes that will better prepare us for success in the future. We've had a rough start of the season, but we are learning and growing from our experiences. SWG has the belief, faith, and commitment to do what it takes to end up on the top at the end of the year. I hope that you all enjoy watching us get there.
Thanks for checking in.
January 21, 2008
Well by now SWG has been back in school for two weeks and we have all settled into the old routine of classes and practice once again. In this round, however, we have the extra-added bonus of competition season! For the freshmen, including myself, it has been exciting to learn all about college gymnastics meets and especially fun to go out and perform in front of the home crowd in Burnham.
This year we were lucky enough to have two home meets in a row to start off the season. After last Sunday's competition against Georgia, we got back in the gym to work even harder and prepare for facing Arizona. We discussed team commitments and goals to ensure that everyone on the team was on the same page, which is especially important with a team of seventeen girls! As far as actual gymnastics goes, this week we worked on increasing our depth and getting some new faces into the lineup while at the same time holding onto and strengthening the new habits concerning detail that we have been focusing on lately. At our traditional pre-meet intrasquad on Friday, we changed up the warm-ups somewhat to give us extra time to work on the events. We also had some new performances on each event, giving some of the girls a chance to earn their spots in the lineup and show the rest of the team that they were ready to compete for SWG.
Just like last week, we started the meet against Arizona on vault and had a strong first rotation. Steph highlighted the event with an especially beautiful yurchenko laid out with a full twist. It was also great to have Alex competing to add variety to our lineup. We rocked bars. Again Alex made an impression by adding her Tkatchev release. After another solid start from Lauren on beam we seemed to lose a little bit of our focus. Floor turned out rougher than we expected, but Kelly did an awesome routine and it was great to see Heather tumbling on the hard floor again. We did see a lot of new people in the lineups (15 out of 17 of us competed!). In the end we pulled out a win despite the rough patches, but more importantly the meet was a major learning experience and wakeup call for what we need to do to be ready for next weekend's big competition at UCLA. We are all determined to bring back the focus that we know is in us and get our work done. Thanks for checking in and GO CARD!
January 14, 2008
Hey SWG Fans,
First of all thank you to those who came to support us in our first meet of the 2008 season. We all appreciate it when we have supportive fans and there is nothing like competing in Burnham when the stands are full.
We spent this last week of practice preparing for the meet. Our focus in the gym was trying to build new habits, which meant really focusing on detail work (pointed toes, straight legs) in every turn. We also have a lot of depth on each event this year, so throughout the week there were several intrasquads with girls fighting to earn their spot in the lineup. However, the lineups aren't finalized until competition time so every turn really counts especially in competition warm up. By the time Sunday came we were all really excited to get the season rolling. SWG had a solid performance for the first meet of season hitting 23 out of 24 routines. We found areas where more work needs to be done, but overall we proved that we are a tough team and will not back down when things don't go perfectly.
Since it was a home competition we started on vault and Blair set the tone by sticking her vault and the scores continued to build from there. We moved on to bars next and had a few mistakes, but the rotation ended with an amazing routine by Allyse. Our third event was beam, which was an overall solid rotation highlighted with Carly's flawless routine. Finally we ended the day on floor where Alex and Fee started the rotation with a bang and T and Tab were able to showcase their new floor routines. Although we couldn't catch Georgia we were pleased with our performance and will be working hard in the gym this week to improve the necessary areas for our meet next weekend against the University of Arizona at 2:00pm!! Hope to see you all there and GO CARD!!
January 6, 2008
After an awesome winter break with family and friends, everybody came back excited for season. Since campus was still closed for break, we had to stay at the Creekside Inn until we were allowed to move back into our dorms. It was fun hanging out with all the girls and not having to worry about schoolwork.
On Friday we made goals for our season. We discussed where we wanted to be at the end of the year as well as our expectations for the first meet against Georgia. Talking about the upcoming competitions made everybody especially motivated and excited for the season, and it definitely showed in our workout. Throughout practice the energy remained high, which allowed for a great atmosphere and fun environment. Purnell and Weedge both nailed power bar sets with every routine they did. Gretchen impressed the entire gym every time she ran down the runway with her explosive vaults, and Steph continually rocked beam, hitting her skills without a single wobble. However, these were only a fraction of the numerous SWG highlights which happened last week.
On Sunday dorms were finally opened and people started moving back in to prepare for the start of classes next week. It was great to reunite with friends and share fun stories; however, the beginning of winter quarter snuck up fast. Already people are buying books from the Stanford bookstore and checking their classes online. More and more emails are being sent reminding students to sign up for sections while professors continue to prepare for the first day of classes. Everybody will be back to work in no time.
I hope you all had a great holiday and enjoyed your break! Go CARD!
December 26, 2007
Since finals were over and the dorms were closed for winter break, we spent the week at the Creekside Inn like we usually do this time of year. It's always fun to share a room with a couple of the girls, hang out outside of practice, and not have to worry about school. On Tuesday, we got into the holiday spirit when Kristen had us over to her house for some great Thai food and holiday activities. We made gingerbread houses and Christmas cookies and exchanged our secret Santa gifts. When we exchange gifts, each person has to write a poem to describe their secret Santa, and this year we even had some songs and an interpretive dance.
After having voluntary workouts through dead week and finals week, it was great to be back in the gym on a regular schedule with the amazing girls of SWG. Progress was made during workouts, and it definitely showed in our intrasquad on Friday. This intrasquad wasn't like any other I've been a part of before, but it was a blast! We had celebrity judges including athletic administrators, university faculty, and SWG alumni, and we were allowed to bribe the judges with candy when appropriate. Beam was fairly solid with some wobbles here and there, with standout routines from Weedge and Purnell. Floor looked good considering it was our first intrasquad on the hard floor. Tenaya rocked her new routine with sky-high tumbling, and Steph's first pass, along with her entire routine, was beautiful. Also Tabbs' new dance is out of this world, so get excited! Vault was solid with eight big vaults, and bars was exciting with many stuck dismounts. We know that we still have areas we need to work on, but we felt like Friday was good example of us performing for the crowd, showing off our hard work, and having fun. After our intrasquad, many kids stayed to enjoy the Parents Night Out. Parents signed their children up to stay with us for a couple hours, and we held an open workout session, ate dinner, and watched a movie with the kids before their parents picked them up later.
To top off an exciting and busy week, we spent most of Saturday working with Habitat for Humanity in South San Francisco. It was a great opportunity for SWG to give back to the community and know that our work would directly affect the lives of families that need our help. Our last practice was Sunday morning, and most of the girls are already home enjoying the break with their family. I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday.
Thanks for stopping by, and GO CARD!
December 10, 2007
Equation for a super stressful but productive week= FINALS (dead week) + 17 amazing SWG gymnasts + positive attitudes + determination + confidence galore + superb work ethic + downright hotness. Yes, this is what we do. We study, we practice, we exude confidence in and out of the gym, and we have fun despite the stress that may accompany those oh-so-dreadful final examinations. Though this week consisted of voluntary workouts, each and every one of the "ridiculously good looking" members of SWG went to practice to escape briefly the schoolwork and prepare for our first meet of the season on January 13th. Coming off of our intersquad on Sunday, we were all eager to fine-tune those small details and add some new big tricks. Unfortunately, we were not all together at the same time, but I was lucky enough to see Purnell strut her stuff and throw HUGE full in's off the air floor. Tabbs is working on a new floor routine that simply defines dance and love of this art. Get excited. :) T's doing double backs off of beam and Fee's working those awesome double pike dismounts; big tricks all around. These are just a few of the many great things happening in the gym.
In addition to all of this excitement, the holiday season creates such a joyous atmosphere and makes me appreciate all of the wonderful people surrounding me. Peace and love to all. Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful season. Well, that's about it for now. Thanks for checking in. Yeahhhhh Card!
December 3, 2007
First of all, I would like to say congratulations to our football team for winning the Big Game! The game was exciting down to the final seconds, and their victory was a great inspiration.
This was our last week training together before the voluntary period starts for dead week and finals. The energy was great and everyone is continuing to make improvements not only on their skills but on consistency and landings as well. Tabby came up with a great beam challenge in which you had to claim the spot you wanted in the line-up and then compete against a teammate for that spot by simultaneously doing cold sets on neighboring beams. One person from each round advanced and formed the line up for a beam intrasquad that followed. It was great to see how many people we have ready to go on beam, and that nobody let down after securing a spot. The routines in the second round were just as, if not more aggressive and solid than they were during the first round.
We finished our week off with an intrasquad with San Jose State. It was great to have another team in the gym, because it definitely added another element and more closely simulated an actual competition. We started off strong on vault, highlighted again by a huge yurchenko full from Gretchen. We didn't have our best day on bars, but didn't let up and finished well. Nikki's routine was amazing and includes a huge new tkatchev. The beam team made their routines, and floor was exciting with lots of new choreography and big tumbling. It is especially fun to see Weedge and Tab perform their routines and really draw the audience in. All in all, it went well and was exciting to see all the upgrades everyone has made. It was definitely fun to get into the competitive mode again, and it got everyone fired up for season to begin!
Thanks for checking in, and GO CARD!
November 26, 2007
Hey SWG Fans!!
We had a great couple of days of training before heading home to our families for Thanksgiving. At every practice someone seems to bring something new to the table, which is great and it helps keep the competitive fire burning.
Before we left for the holiday, we pulled the beam outside of the gym and into the main hallway of our facility. We had a beam intrasquad out there, with some new faces in the line up, and we hit 6 for 6 routines. It was great and it just shows that we have a seemingly endless number of girls that are ready to hit a beam routine when they are called up. It's awesome to watch the freshmen develop their confidence as they are asked to be part of more and more of these line ups. They are really proving that they can hold their own and they add great depth to the team.
The girls also had a fun time on bars this past week. Swiz came up with rules for an uneven bars version of a football game, where there were three teams and everything that the girls did was judged. Their scores got them "yards" and they advanced the football down the field, hoping for a touchdown. The team with the most points at the end of the three days earned a free pass to skip one of our favorite conditioning exercises (jack sprints).
After a few days in the gym together, it was time to go home to celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday came at a perfect time, with all of the hard work that we have been putting in the gym and the midterms that everyone was studying for, it was a great few days to relax and recharge. We came back yesterday (except for the freshmen, who get an extra day at home) and had another great workout. People came in after traveling all day and the energy was still high and we got everything that we needed to done. After being away, it's great to come back and feel as if we haven't missed a beat.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and with season coming up so quickly, I'm sure that there will be many more exciting stories to come!
November 19, 2007
Following our super hard week, this week's "light" practices were warmly received by the whole SWG team. Even though it was a light week, SWG was still hard at work perfecting skills and working together as a team. This week we have been working on putting routines together, getting our floor endurance up so we can do huge tumbling and performance on our dance, and especially working on our stuck landings. SWG has started tallying all the sticks we make every practice throughout the week. We've already beaten our sticks from last week and we are excited to keep that trend up.
Some of the highlights in the gym this week were Liz and Tabbs being able to do more bars. Liz has been cleared to do some Geingers on bars, which, like all her releases, are super huge! Tenaya West (T-Dub) started doing some awesome double backs for dismounts on beam. Steph Gentry did her 2 1/2 punch front layout on the floor. Its amazing how many adds and improvements people are making each week!
On another note, we all finished up classes and are looking forward to a much-deserved week off of school. Oh course, that doesn't mean that the professors didn't give us work to do J. But nonetheless, no class for a week is great! We are training until Tuesday afternoon and then we are free to go home and spend Thanksgiving with our families. I remember last year as a freshman, I couldn't wait to go home for Thanksgiving and see my family again. But this year, the anticipation of going home isn't nearly as high, probably because I feel like I already have a family here. (don't worry mom, I'm still stoked to come home J)
Hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving and enjoys Turkey day with friends and family!
November 12, 2007
Hi SWG fans,
We just finished one of the hardest weeks of the year in terms of
conditioning and gymnastics. In spite of, or more likely because of all the
hard work we have made huge strides this week as a team. We have really
started to develop the team chemistry and love for each other that is such a
key part of who this team is and why we succeed. It is working together
that will get us where we want to be at the end of the year. This week we
have started to do that more and more. It makes the gym a great place to
be. Everyone is not only doing big gymnastics, but each is also very
engaged and involved in what one's teammates are doing.
This culminated in our first intrasquad of the year that took place
yesterday. It was exciting for everyone, and I think especially for the
freshman, to get a little taste of the competition mentality that we all
enjoy so much. We started with vault, which was highlighted by Gretchen's
huge stuck yurchenko full. Though bars was not our best event of the
afternoon, we hit our routines and made some good changes. The highlight of
the day was beam. It is going to be tough to make the line-up this year, as
we competed 8 people yesterday and still more are ready to go. It was
really exciting to see so many hit routines with no wobbles this early in
the season. Look for big things from the beam team this year. Finally we
finished up on floor. Highlights here include Tenaya's new floor routine
and Allyse's always wonderful dance and expression (and some huge tumbling
as well). We know we have lots of room for improvement, but I think we're
at a good starting point.
Thanks for checking in with SWG. Go Card!
November 5, 2007
As the HumBio ("Human Biology" in Stanford speak) girls finally finish up mid-terms, SWG finds itself
pushing through what will be a tough week of practice. We will be
doing lots of gymnastics combined with some hard conditioning. It's a
tough push, but doing it with the team makes it a lot more fun. It
will also make next week feel easier!
Looking back on the past week, we have celebrated three exciting
birthdays with Kristen's to come very soon. We also did the 5K with
BAWSI (Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative--it's a group that works with high school aged young women to promote health and fitness and we volunteer with them) on Sunday morning. We all woke up early and made our way to San
Jose, with only a couple wrong turns! There were a ton of people at
the starting line and we were all excited to be there and support our
BAWSI girls. We got to meet a lot of girls and their parents and chat
with them a little bit. It was really nice. We finally got to the end
and all took a picture together and sung the BAWSI song. It was very
inspiring to see all those young kids out there being active and all
the parents out supporting them.
Inside the gym has also been super exciting. We have been doing a lot
of pressure sets and people are really starting to step up. Most of
the girls are now doing full routines of everything and they are
looking great. We have implemented our no fall zone, where if you fall
during practice, you move onto the next event and finish your
assignment when you are done with everything else. It really helps us
get used to making every turn count and being more confident with our
gymnastics. The gym is an exciting place to be right now.
Thanks for checking in!
October 29, 2007
"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision...It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." Andrew Carnegie
Hey ya'll! (yes, all three Texans in a row...I had to continue the trend! :) I thought I would start out this week with a quote that sums up the direction towards which I feel SWG is moving. We have been back on campus now for a little over a month and everyone seems well adjusted. In addition, we have grown tremendously as a team, especially in recent weeks and days. The gym has been an exciting place and I really think we are beginning to practice as a unit.
Just a few highlights of the week that I want to mention, as they really stand out in my mind as significant in contributing to the development I’ve seen. We started out last Sunday with a beam intrasquad, which marked the first time any of us had done a full set this year. It was very exciting to get things kicked off in this way and though some of us were a little shaky, I think it was a great way to get people motivated and t0 begin our transition into the "competition" mindset of training.
On Wednesday, we took some time to watch the video from NCAAs as well as talk about some of our goals for the year. This was another wonderful team experience and really motivated us to train with the end of the year in mind. We have set our sights high but I have no doubt that with the effort, heart and determination of this team, we can make our goals a reality.
Thursday we had a "new skill" exhibition day during practice, which was extremely exciting. Not only are there some huge tricks being done, they are clean and aggressive and serve to represent a physical manifestation of the hard work people are doing in an effort to reach the goals we set forth in our meeting on Wednesday.
It is these types of things, among many others, that are enabling us not only to make daily strides and improvements but to make them together. And because they are made together, they are bigger and better than any one of us could have made on our own. Anyone that doubts the ability of SWG should take heed of Carnegie's words... the "uncommon" result might just become a reality.
October 23, 2007
Hey y'all (another Texan writing),
Another exciting week for SWG with a twist. It was "cross training week", which meant we spent workout time in and out of the gym. We started in the gym Sunday with conditioning, then came the display of skills which continue to ramp up. Everyone completed the floor circuit and we had some exhibitions of floor passes. We will have some explosive "E" passes this year, with gorgeous piked full-ins from Allyse and Lauren, huge double lays from Tenaya and CJ, just to name a few. On Monday we moved to the pool. As a freshman, I was a little nervous because we were told how hard this practice was. It turned out to be a tiring but fun day! We swam laps, did some conditioning, and treaded water for fifteen minutes. Then we had some team competition when we split up for relay races. After that, we played water jug baseball and dodge ball. And to finish off a great day, we discussed team and individual goals for the season. This was really motivating and everyone is pumped to get their skills ready to compete. Wednesday, as a team we set more goals and discussed some things we are going to implement at practice. Thursday we took some team pictures around campus, had a team activity, and played some kickball. Friday, the team had discussion with a sports psychologist followed by an open workout, and again some great gymnastics. We ended a great week with some really hard work in the weight room. Overall, the week was really motivating and everyone is ready to dominate this season. To the Pac 10 and others...we'll be ready!
And another thing...I think we freshman are getting the hang of things! We know our way around and are not having to ask quite so many questions. J I know all three of us love being a part of SWG! Working with sixteen other gymnasts that have so much to offer in every aspect of life is amazing. They and our coaches have helped us freshman to make the life transition to college and to this team. We are so fortunate to have this group as mentors, teammates, and friends. This year will be like no other!
(One more thing from yesterday's practice...Liz Tricase is doing more and more gymnastics and she did some huge double layouts on floor!)
October 15, 2007
It's been another great week for SWG gymnastics. Everyone has really gotten into a rhythm with job-searching (yikes!), classes, and gym, and workouts have been really productive. This past week was a gymnastics-loaded week, and there were some amazing skills being executed by everyone in the gym. Mike has been devising some creative and fun drills on vault, which have involved flipping over a wedge and flipping onto a whale mat at table height. On bars, there have been some big releases being thrown, including a toe-on-shaposh-half by Shelley as well as some big Jaegers, Giengers, and Tkatchevs. We're really working on amping up the difficulty on bars this year so that come Nationals we will have both the cleanest and the hardest bars sets in the nation. Spontaneous pressure situations on beam are becoming a more frequent occurrence, and the team is stepping up nicely. On floor, I feel like the team is in better shape for this time of year than ever before. We have been doing pretty much full sets off of our air floor so that we can protect our bodies while making our endurance ridiculously high. Watch for upgraded first passes - we're going to have the biggest tumbling as well as the best dance now.
Speaking of dance, this weekend was Homecoming Weekend here at Stanford, and Pinch and CJ got to show off their snazzy new routines to the alumni on our Alumni Day on Friday. We got to mingle a bit with the alumni after practice, and it is just amazing what some of them have had the opportunity to do with their lives after Stanford. Being a senior has been a mixed experience for me so far - I'm not going to lie, I'm not looking forward to leaving this place. After talking to the alumni, it makes me appreciate even more the opportunity that Kristen gave me four years ago to come to Stanford University, the best in both academics and athletics. With the degrees that we are earning here, our success and achievements will continue beyond the realm of NCAA and athletics, a situation that not many college athletes find themselves in. But for now, the six of us seniors are focusing on this year, being here in this moment. We love gymnastics and more importantly, we love our SWG Team. We have talked about some milestones that we have yet to reach, and we are driven. It is going to be an unforgettable season with many more to come - another thing that we are working on is establishing the SWG culture so that when we come back as alumni, we will be able to see younger generations having just as good of an experience as we have had and perhaps even better.
October 8, 2007
First, I would like to congratulate our football team on beating USC this past weekend. USC has not lost at home since 2001, which was also to Stanford and some have said that this is the biggest upset in NCAA football history! The game this past weekend shows that anything can happen in sports and to never underestimate the underdog. Keeping that in mind, I can't help but think of our first meet of the season against three-time defending national champs, Georgia. Everyone on this team has been fired up since last year's nationals to start out this year with a bang. We are training hard and using this past weekend as motivation towards our goals. Like I said earlier, anything is possible!
On another note, last weekend was our recruiting weekend and we spent a good portion of it with recruits on campus for our official visit weekend. We took them to a women's volleyball game against UCLA, which we won as well as a football game against ASU. Other fun activities during the weekend included a trip to Half Moon Bay where one of the recruits and Heather decided to become members of the Polar Bear Club, a barbeque with some amusing sand volleyball, and a scavenger hunt around campus. Everyone had a great time and was pretty tired when Sunday rolled around. In order to catch up on homework, Kristen gave the team a day off on Monday so that we would feel refreshed for the rest of the week. As it turns out, practices during the remainder of the week were very productive with modified full and half routines on all events. It is so exciting to see people doing more and more every week.
We ended our week with our annual picture day for the website and media guide. The theme this year is pretty creative and I cannot wait to see what the media guide and posters will look like. Well, that pretty much covers another week with SWG. Thanks for reading and GO CARD!
October 1, 2007
And so it begins...
After a great summer break, SWG finally began classes last week. Contrary to the feelings some other college students, I was so excited for this quarter to start. Despite the morning workouts and large stacks of books awaiting our attention, we had a great week! On Monday, the sophomores began their year-long trek through the Human Biology core, while some of the seniors enjoyed their last "first day of classes" at Stanford. It's difficult to imagine the start of a new year without six of my best friends, so I won't. ☺
On a happier note, our team has had some great practices! Everyday someone seems to do something amazing in the gym. We had an informal intrasquad on Wednesday that went incredibly well. Our freshmen, in particular, really stepped up showing half routines on bars and even a yurchenko 1 1/2 on vault. It's remarkable how much further along we are in our training this year compared to my two previous years. At the end of the week, we rallied together for super spirit day. The freshman, sophomore, and junior classes were creatively clothed in Stanford pride, hoping to exude the most spirit. But even with all our efforts, there was no topping the seniors who outdid themselves with sparkly capes, pom-poms, and matching "SENIORITY" t-shirts.
All in all, we've come a long way in just one week. With nine more still left in the quarter, I can't imagine the things we'll do. If I were you, I'd keep your eye on SWG. J Thanks for reading!
September 26, 2007
SWG wasted no time in getting back into the rhythm of things. We arrived on campus Thursday night and dominated the conditioning test the next morning. Everyone came in to the gym well prepared and passed each section of the test with ease. We had a few hours to relax before packing our bags for the annual team retreat. This year we went to Lake Tahoe.
After the five-hour drive we spent some time getting settled into the cabin and relaxing by the lake. Well… the seniors took it easy while the freshman, sophomores, and juniors decided to swim in the freezing lake water!
When we returned to the cabin, we were greeted with a feast! The coaches had cooked up a storm: spring rolls, Chinese salad, noodles, shrimp, chicken, and a bunch of other treats. We played some team-building games and activities designed by the coaches while the food finished cooking. Finally, the time arrived for SWG to indulge in the deliciousness the coaches had spent all day preparing. After our appetites were appeased and our food had settled, the coaches informed us of the real reason for the feast. The hearty meal that night would provide us with the energy needed for the heptathlon that awaited us in the morning. We were split into three groups and given instructions for the tasks we would complete the next day.
The heptathlon consisted of a 3.5 mi bike race, 150m swim, a killer partner sprint circuit, a canoe course, a sponge-water-bucket filling race, a sand castle building contest, and a five-piece-nature-boat-constructing challenge! A person from each group participated in one of the seven tasks (some of the tasks required full team participation). I know that the heptathlon was supposed to be a fun, friendly, team competition, but all the teams were really fired up. I bet bystanders watching us thought we were competing in the Olympics. The energy and spirit of each girl participating was overwhelming. It was inspiring to see the enthusiasm and competitiveness that everyone brought with them to the heptathlon. It showed the unbelievable amount of passion and heart that the team has this year. I think the coaches were surprised with the spirit of each team and tactfully deemed every team a winner (haha). At the end of the epic battle, the coaches challenged us to build a Blair-sized sand castle as a team! It was nice to work as one unified team and we completed the challenge readily (you can look at pictures on our website). We were all pretty exhausted after the heptathlon and were given the rest of the day to relax. A bunch of the girls who still had energy decided to go on a hike. I hear that they really enjoyed it.
We slept like logs that night and woke up early the next morning to return to campus and move into our dorms. SWG is excited to be back on campus and can't wait to get going in the gym. That about does it for now. Thanks for checking in!
September 12, 2007
This Thursday evening, all of our SWGgles will be back on campus! It might seem a bit late for the preseason, but we're not wasting any time getting started. On Friday morning we'll take care of NCAA paperwork, get our physicals out of the way, and then we're going right to the gym to blow our fitness test out of the water! It will be nice to have that out of the way as we leave for our team retreat in Lake Tahoe on Saturday morning.
This summer has flown by for most of us (I guess it seemed to go a bit slower for our excited froshies!), and we've had a blast keeping in touch with each other through our Xanga board. It sounds like everyone has had some great experiences over the last couple of months. Upper classmen had jobs and internships, learning about what work in the real world is like, and a few other girls took summer school to get some more classes out of the way. Other girls took some vacation time, and just enjoyed their summers with their families and friends from home who will be going to other colleges around the country. One thing is for sure though: We all trained hard over the summer. We've done conditioning lists, and circuits, and cardio, and PT and rehab, and we've worked on new choreography, and new skills-and with three awesome additions to our historic team from last year, we're pumped up and ready to go! STANFORD is more than a force to be reckoned with on the NCAA Gymnastics scene this year!!!
We hope that all of you are getting as excited we are for the upcoming year. Stay tuned in to our preseason as we keep you updated with more Inside the Locker Room articles, and take care for now!
August 16, 2007
It is finally my turn to write Inside-The-Locker Room and I cannot believe that it's already the middle of August. If I had to use one word to describe my summer on the Farm so far, it would have to be BUSY. Since the end of school, I have been interning at the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law on campus for the Stanford Summer Fellows Program. Working there has given me the opportunity to meet amazing people from all over the world and hear their stories of promoting democracy in their own countries. Because I have been working full-time and more since the start of the program, I have not been able to see the girls or train with them as much. The one day where we have gotten together has been Saturday at the gym and it's so much fun to see what they have been working on: Nikki improving her double layouts on bars and tkatchevs, Fee working on hop-fulls on bars and a new vault, Tenaya's double layout on floor into the resi, and much more. I can't wait until we are all back together and can see what everyone has been working on.
Last weekend, all of us went through our conditioning test to see where we are at this point in the summer and whether we need to change our conditioning cycles in any way. Some of the girls went on Saturday, but Liz, Tab, and myself did it on Sunday, our only day off. After a hard week, the conditioning test was challenging but everyone did well and knows if they need to work on any particular area in the next month. On another note, this week will be the USAG National Championships in San Jose and some of us are volunteering to help with the weeklong event. I went tonight and helped with some equipment set-up and making sure food was available to all those that were helping out. Everyone was working hard to finish on time and have the place ready for training tomorrow. It should be an exciting week and it will be fun to watch all of the great competition.
Thanks for checking in and GO CARD!