Today: Jun 25, 2024

Owl Spotting: A quick look at an outstanding Owl

Shannon Martin- Freshman gymnast
Age: 18
Attended: South Brunswick High School, Monmouth, New Jersey
Trained at: Arena Gymnastics in Hamilton, New Jersey
Major: Business
Favorites
Class: Math “It has always come easy to me”
Food: French Fries
Sport: Baseball and football
Team: Giants
Player: Kevin Boss “I went to the Giants and Eagles game last year. [After DeSean Jackson returned the punt] We were screaming just going nuts. We were like ‘is this really happening right now?’”
Superstitions: ”This year I wore my hair a certain way the first meet, I’ve worn it exactly the same ever since with the same hair ties.”
Gymnastics
Event: Vault.
On how she got started: [I started] at like two, or three. You start with the little mommy and me classes and then you just keep going from there. When I was home and little I would always roll around on the couch and do little flips so they were like ‘let’s put her in the classes.”
How she got into competitive gymnastics:
“Once you’re done with classes and once you learn all the skills, that’s when you start competing.”
“It’s different from when you’re little to older, but from about 12 on I’ve done about 25 plus hours of gymnastics a week.”
“It was really hard in high school because I would literally leave my house at 7 in the morning at not return until nine at night. I would go right to school and then to high school practice, then right to my other practice. Thank God we had [study halls]. I was able to get my work done then and I would always try to get work done on the drive over.”
Why Southern: “I came for the gymnastics team, the coach is amazing and the team, I just instantly loved them. They’re a very nice group of girls and I thought I would fit in very well, which I do.”
“My high school gymnastics coach helped me out looking for schools and she suggested Southern so I did and I loved it. “
Dealing with the distance: “I don’t get to go home very much so it’s kind of hard, but I have my team here and we do everything together. We’re like a family so it’s easier having them here.”
How going to nationals as a freshman felt: “I felt very honored being with all that talent, going my freshman year was a great experience. I felt proud to make it there. It was a little intimidating. I was actually a little upset after my vault … I did make it but I felt like I could have done a better vault. I was happy though because I actually did it and made it.”
Going to Colorado for Nationals: “Again I felt honored going with the girls that made it, it was a real fun experience. There was three days of competition but you had to qualify for the second and third days.”
How will that experience benefit you: “It will definitely benefit me because I’ll be more prepared and I’ll know what I have to do to hopefully make it on to the next day and I’ll know what to expect.
Advice for future freshmen: “Competing is competing so you’re prepared to an extent, but in college it’s more of a team aspect and it’s not just about you. I mean you want to do good for yourself and you want to do good individually, but you also want to do good for your team and make your team proud. So as a freshman you need to learn that.”
– Jeff Nowak

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