Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ok, Im back!

Hello blog, I'm so sorry I've neglected you for 7 months! High school is so... I don't know. There's a lot of words to describe how much I hate it. But that's beside the point. In my gymnastics life, there's lots of thing to brush up on that I've missed!

Lets see... the last time I blogged was back in July! So much has happened since then, both in the elite world and in mine! I would've blogged about the National Championships and Worlds but I guess I never got around to it. I guess I don't have much to comment on them now except for three things. I miss Bridget Sloan. Where the heck did Aliya Mustafina come from. And someone please smack that bratty look off of her face. Where are our American guns when we need them? (Ok that's four, sorry). I haven't been following elite gymnastics as much as I want to, but I try to whenever I can. :)

As far as my life goes, I'm in the middle of the meet season -- level 7 again, yes, but this time around with much better routines, and much more confidence. Oh yeah -- and a giant flyway! Ive had a decent season so far, my two best meets being the Snowball Classic, where I got a 36.7 AA -- 2nd place to a 36.725 (had I stuck my landings I would've snagged a 37 which I haven't done since level 4 State!) and the Battle in Seattle where I took 1st AA with a 36.15 while competing against some major gyms! :) It's been quite encouraging after the year I had before. The other meets so far have been not-as-spectacular, but not terrible. My flyaways have proven to be quite the troublemaker the past few weeks though, where I have been consistently doing "double back timers" -as coach Kevin calls them, both at practice and at the last two meets. Its been frustrating, as well as disappointing, because I have worked so hard on them and I am typically one of the 7's top bar scorers. For now, I just gotta keep working them cuz I'm tired of getting 8.5s when I should be getting 9s...

My final note now is for those who thought Grace was a 'goner' after the summer we went through and the coaches we lost. GGC took home $8,000 for The Strong Kids Campaign this past weekend at the Bumbershoot Invitational! Out of some 39 teams, we beat out some major guns including Roach, LEGA, Gym East, and Emerald City to win the overall team competition and money benefiting the charity of our choice! It was really encouraging for us all, especially Coach Kevin. He wrote up a heartfelt email to everyone that I though I might share a couple pieces of because it really sums it up.

Hi everyone,
I cannot begin to tell you how extremely proud I am of our gymnasts, my
coaches and you parents for the wonderful support you’ve shown.
Especially when you consider the tumult we’ve endured the past year. All of
you need to know that this was a total team effort – all levels, boys and girls.
Without the strength and great performance of every level competing, this
would not have happened. Consider that our Level 3 girls have only been
working on the routine for around a month and were a last minute entry into
the meet. Consider that the Boy’s Team was nearly scrapped in December
because of no coach. Consider the very large shoes many of our coaches
have had to fill over the past nine months. Finally, consider the many
coaching changes our gymnasts have faced as well. Amazing is one of
several words I can come up with explain it, but nothing quite seems to be
big enough.

Months ago, I wrote an email saying that before you can see a silver lining,
you have to go through the storm clouds. It’s nice to know that through faith,
you will see that lining eventually. Now, I’m not na├»ve enough to think there
won’t be more dark clouds, but I am smart enough to know who shows me
the way through. In the words of Max Lucado, “focus on giants, we all stumble
-- focus on God and you giants tumble.” I’d say this weekend is a definite step
in the right direction. Now let’s go win $1,000 at the Seattle Open.

Mathew 14:22-32

Kevin Milliren


~ Got Grace?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Here comes the Classic!

2 weeks left until things get exciting in the elite world! The Chicago's CoverGirl Classic kicks off July 23! Yes, lame - I'll be in North Carolina then, but hopefully I will find myself at a TV when it comes on. If you have not already seen it, here's the list of major players expected to compete:

Bridget Sloan -Heck yes! I am seriously obsessed with this girl- not in a weird way- but Im hoping to see another awesome season from her as she goes on to defend her National and World titles!

Alexandra Raisman - Don't know her as well besides seeing her at this year's Pac Rim and a few smaller meets, but I do know she is uber-consistent and is becoming the same power packed competitor that her 'big sister' Alicia Sacramone is.

Rebecca Bross - Strange she signed up for the Classic as she has no need to be there but I guess I'm glad I don't have to wait until Nationals to see her. Just please stay uninjured.

Mattie Larson - Woah, I kinda forgot about her since she's kind of disappeared from the elite world for awhile. Cant wait to see what she's bringing and I hope she will stay fairly injury-free this season too.

Samantha Shapiro - She too has the same story as Larson... but I thought she was gone for good. I'm wondering if we'll see the same Samantha that I loved watching leading up to 2008. But hey, its great to see so many back that I thought were done.

Mackenzie Caquatto -Not a real big fan of Mackenzie, and I never have been. Nor do I know much about her.

Kayla Williams - Im really really hoping Kayla can pull off a good season after the mess she went through this year. I dont really know what's happening with her and her new gym, just hopefully something GOOD!

Amanda Jetter - This is her debut year as a senior- hopefully she will impress!

Sophina DeJesus - Ummm... dont know much about her except for the fact that she is an excellent tumbler and is also looking to impress in her first year as a senior.

Vanessa Zamarripa - A current UCLA Bruin who is looking to persue in both NCAA and Elite gymnastics. Hmmm. This should be interesting.

Alicia Sacramone - When I heard ASac was coming back, this season got so much more exciting! Although she's only competing vault and beam, she will attempt to prove her comeback talk. I'm really just glad to see her her face back on the stage again!

Sophia Lee - A WOGAner who I know nothing about.

Briley Casanova - Dido.

And for the Juniors...

Jordyn Wieber - The one who came back from a cometition-less year and a half to kick a** at the Pac Rim. Here she comes...

Dont know much about the rest but here they are:

Kyla Ross -2009 Junior National Champion.
Keely McNair - Ooooh... from Chow's.
Mykayla Skinner -Desert Lights
Claire Boyce - Former GAGE gymnast, now at Texas Dreams
Sabrina Vega - Gotta love watching her!
Lexi Priessman - 2009 Nastia Liukin Cup Champion - with some big skills to show off as an elite!
Ariana Guerra - Stars Houston
Mackenzie Wofford -WOGA
Gabrielle Douglas -Excalibur
Madison Kocian -WOGA
Grace McLaughlin -WOGA
Alyssa Baumann -WOGA
Katelyn Ohashi -WOGA
Lizzy LeDuc -WOGA

I seriously love this time of year :)

~ Got Grace?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Nationals!

Yay! I'm home finally. I didn't get to stay very long in San Diego during Nationals because we planned it as a "Family trip" and not a "gymnastics" trip, so we left for Orange County right after I competed. I was so disappointed that I didn't get to stay for the 8's final or the Championship final, but I did at least get to watch the level 6's compete. It was great fun getting to go out and support Grace, no matter what level :). The final results for the 8's and 9/10's have not been posted on the website yet but via Facebook I found out the level 8's took home the championship title and the 9/10's placed 3rd. 3rd was a pretty great finish though, considering they lost some of the 3 most talented girls on our team right before. Still, it's sad knowing they could've defended the title, had the whole coaching dilemma not come up. But that's life for you. Click here for the full meet results.

Also, here are some fun pics of the level 7's at the meet :)














































~Got Grace?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Quick Update

This is short because Im still in California and dont have a real computer at the moment, but when I get back I will post more about Nationals. But overall I had an AMAZING time :) Unfortunately though, there was no giant flyaway for me. I wasn't ready in time. It's hard not reaching goals you seriously set your mind to. It really is. But after a lot of thought Ive come to realize this was God's plan that I didn't get them. There is a reason. And besides, I gave them the hardest fight I had in me because it's all I promised and all I could do.

On a high note, the meet went really well! My vault that randomly got way better scored a 9.125 - personal best lvl 7- which is an improvement from my typical 8.75's, but we are confused about what I placed (around 4th, 5th or 6th). I competed a double clear hip on bars and scored an 8.80 - personal best as a lvl 7 - and placed 3rd. I got an 8.7 on beam with a 9.5 start value because of a bad connection of my BHS-BWO... blaaaah. But I competed my "Nastia Liukin" mount (which I was qutie nervous about) and it was perfect! I took 3rd on that event. On floor I scored a 9.375 - personal best lvl 7- and took 1st! My AA was a flat out 36.0 - personal best lvl 7- and tied for 2nd :) More results and picture shall be coming later!

~ Got Grace?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Crunch Time!

How much easier it is to make progress in the gym when you put you mind to it... I just found out! As you've seen from previous blogs, my goal for the past two months has been to get my giant flyaway on the unevens to compete for Y Nationals. This week it just clicked to me that Nationals are in TWO WEEKS! ITS CRUNCH TIME! But anyways, I've only really been swinging giants by myself on pit for a week now, and flyaways from them with a spot. So I went into gym Monday expecting to do some more into the pit, but it turned out Coach Kevin wasn't with us on bars that day- so that eliminated my option to do them- while the whole weekend I had been thinking about how little time I still have to get these. Dang... But then something knocked at the stubborn little head of mine and told me "Wait, why don't you just chuck some giants on unevens for the first time? Time is running out, even though you've only had them for a week." And so I asked Coach Krista if I could skip routines to try them. She looked at me like I was crazy, because I would be the last one who would ask to try something new, but she was excited to let me. (She was even more suprised that I didn't even want a mat or a spot) And so I did. No mats on the low bar. No spot. I just chucked them! I hadn't even thought about moving them to the unevens until 20 minutes before. Afterward, I kinda looked at myself and said "Your crazy... but I like it"! Such an exhilarating feeling - I hope it stays ;).

This past month I've really been pushing myself change. To lose the person that had once been holding me back with fear and doubt. And to become someone who can "accept the challenge" with confidence so I can chase the dream I've had for so long. And I now feel, with this new leap of faith, that I am one step closer and that there is still something truly lit inside. Now for one last step...

“Wake up every day knowing that today is a new day and only you can determine the outcome of that day. So dream big, accept the challenge, and never look back.” – Alicia Sacramone

~Got Grace?

Friday, June 4, 2010

2000 Olympic Games

Since I had neither homework nor gym Wednesday, I pretty much wasted my entire evening on the Internet (as you would probably guess) Youtubing gymnastics videos. Well... only my family would call it "wasting", hahaha. But as I was curious about the 2000 Olympic Games with all the news about China being stripped of their bronze medal, I decided to watch the women's team finals. What a disappointment for the Russians. They didn't show great sportsmanship either for taking home the silver, with Svetlana Khorkina taking off her medal and crumpling it in her hands as they were walking out.

After watching the team finals, I gave up the computer for a while and then came back a little bit later to find my self once again on Youtube, but this time: the All Around Finals. To my surprise, I was watching one of the most craziest Olympic finals I have ever seen. Kinda hard to believe with so many upsets and weird issues all at the same time. First Elise Ray missed both her hands on the vault her first run and neither of the two following had good landings. Then Svetlana Khorkina, pretty much the predetermined AA champion, lands on her knees twice on her vault, costing her any shot at the medals. It wasn't until half way through the competition that someone spoke up about the vault not feeling right. 5cm too short. Way to go, Australia. It may seem like a small margin but with the vaults these athletes were pulling, 5cm is the difference between landing on you feet or landing on your face. The girls that had already gone were offered a re-vault where they would have to erase their old score and compete again. Unfortunately for both Elise and Svetlana, a redo wouldn't have done them any good as they both fell on another event following vault. Elise slipped her foot on a layout series on beam and Svetlana missed a release move on bars. I can bet though, that both those routines were definitely influenced by the disaster on vault. As for the new gymnasts who rose to the top of the leader board after Svetlana was knocked off, they found themselves wound up in the crazy night too. It was almost like if you got anywhere near the top of the board, it was your turn to trip, crash or fall. In the end it came down to who would make the least amount of mistakes, where Romanian consistency ruled. The other two Americans, Kristin Maloney and Amy Chow, didn't perform spectacularly either, not that they were contenders to begin with. A few stumbles from Kristin on her passes on floor and a huge wobble from Amy knocked both of them out off the board. When the competition came to a close, Simona Amanar of Romania ended up with the gold, her teammate Maria Olaru took the silver and Xuan Liu of China followed with the bronze - not a fairytale ending for Svetlana or anyone. All in all, what a crazy night!

~Got Grace?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cha-Ching!

WOO-HOO! I did my giant flyaway! Ok, it was on the pit bar with someone slowing down the swing into it, but just going for it is a big deal to me. They're a little crazy at the moment, but with a little work I think I can get them where they need to be. Unfortunately a lovely rip prevented me from doing more... yeah, it's cute. But to make my day better, our Nationals leos came in and, I'd have to say, they look FANTASTIC! I am so stoked for San Diego even more!

This month I've been working harder than I have in a long time- running a every week, lots of extra conditioning at home, and making sure I'm training everything to the best of my ability while at gym. I really want to be at my best for Nationals and to just become stronger as a gymnast. I hope it will pay off!

~Got Grace?