Ohio Bound and Back Again: Nationals 2017

This year, nationals was held in Columbus, Ohio. We left for NAIGC Club Gymnastics Nationals on an unremarkable Wednesday last week. The drive was uneventful, arriving at the hotel around 11:00 PM after over five hours of driving and a quick pit stop at “Truck World.” Columbus seemed like a nice city, but it was hard to tell at first since the day I competed preliminaries was cold, windy, and wet. Preliminaries went well! Our level 9 session was on Thursday in the late afternoon. I qualified for bars, floor, and all around finals.

On my day off, I went to the Franklin Park Conservancy with my parents and uncle. So even though I wasn’t doing larch things, I was still looking at a bunch of plants haha. I’m so cool.

Finals rolls around and I will never not be amazed at how many gymnasts compete at nationals. It’s pretty cool when all the schools line up in the hall way and march in to the gym before finals starts. Here is a picture I took (and that’s only about a quarter of them):

Finals was very stressful because I was the only one from A team to qualify for finals so I was competing in a group with a few other individual competitors. This is stressful, mostly on bars and vault, because each gym typically has different settings for how far apart the bars are, how high the vault table is, how far the board is from the vault, and how many springs are in the springboard. Let me explain more why this is an issue. During a competition, each gymnast gets 2 minutes to warm up on an event. When a team is competing, that time gets combined so if there are 7 girls, we get 14 minutes total to warm up which is a decent amount of time and it is also shared. There is also no need to change bar settings because everyone goes on the same setting. In the scenario I was in, everyone had different settings which meant that if we combined all our time together, we’d have to change the bar settings every time someone else took a turn and that just isn’t very efficient. So instead, we all blocked our own time so I had two minutes by myself to warm up. It’s very tiring.

Anyway, it didn’t matter because guess what?!?!?! I got FIRST on bars!!!! Oh yeah. National champ right here! HAHA. I’m funny. I didn’t place on any of the other events but I still did pretty well and the fact that I got a first place makes up for everything.

So all in all, a good meet and an enjoyable time 🙂

PSU Club Gym Goes to Cali’Frisco

I’ve actually been back for over two weeks, but ya know what, better later than never.

Anyway, Penn State’s fabulous club gymnastics team headed down to BWI on a cloudy Wednesday morning on the 13th of April. And after a very long travel day, we ended in Sacramento, California where NAIGC (National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs) Nationals was being held. Our Uber driver who took us from the airport to the hotel told me that Sacramento is a city of trees or something like that. It was very beautiful and I got very excited. Look!

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That night, we went to the open work out in the competition area which was pretty crazy! There were tons of teams cramming in some last minute practice before the meet. Also, because of the time difference, we were technically practicing at 1:00AM Eastern Time!

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The next day was the preliminary competition. The top scorers on each event and the all around for both teams and individuals competitors. This competition, I heard at least, was the largest amount of gymnasts at around 1,100! Woah!

Since Finals weren’t until Saturday and we’d competed on Thursday, we took a Megabus and went to visit beautiful San Francisco!

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I ate a delicious breakfast with some friends at acute little hipster place

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We walked around pier

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And took a boat tour around the harbor.

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I wandered around the city with this other kid while everyone else went off to do their own thing. Everyone thought we were lost and tried calling us a bunch of times but neither of us had bothered to check our phones (oops). We had fun at least, and stumbled onto some pretty cool sites!

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The infamous Lombard Street

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I loved this cute little park that we found! Called Yerba Buena Gardens

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That evening all the scores were posted. Although our “A team” (which competes with level 9 rules) didn’t make it to finals our B team (competing level 8) did! I and another girl on A-team also qualified for bars, floor, and all around finals as individuals which was exciting! After finding that out, I almost regretted walking around so much!

On Saturday before finals began, there was “march in” where all the teams that competed (whether or not they qualified for finals) lined up in the gym. It was crazy to see how many people were there! (Don’t we all look so excited!?)

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Then the competition began!

My meet went really well! I finally made a beam routine with a series and scored my personal best with a 9.3! Woo! I also did well on all my other events! (Vault-8.9 Bars 9.425 Beam-9.3 Floor-9.525 All Around- 37.225)

After the competition, we had to tear down the gym. This took much much longer than expected and everyone was getting grumpy as other teams gave up and left before we finished.

The awards banquet wasn’t anything too exciting but it was cool to go up and get medals! 2016-04-16 21.50.36

We left the hotel at 4:00 in the morning to go to the airport. Everyone slept on any available surface if we had to wait longer than five minutes. I played the ukulele during our layover which was nice. I saw some people who were swaying to the music while waiting to board which made me happy!

So all in all, a wonderful trip! (not everyone is in this picture because I couldn’t find a picture of the whole team)

gym club peeps