Today: Apr 12, 2024

Gymnastics reflects on season so far

Avery MartinContributor

The Southern Connecticut State Women’s gymnastics team have had a rollercoaster of a season so far, recording seven wins and 16 losses against opponents . However, do not let this deter you from seeing the large amount of talent on the team.  

The diverse squad’s 33 gymnasts hail from 10 states, as well as Canada. At SCSU, they have all come together for a common goal of performing the best gymnastics they can. They frequently compete against opponents in NCAA division one schools. 

Biology major Ava Kelly, a freshman was clear about her goals. “My goals for this season are to get my highest scores on floor and vault and to make nationals as a team. I also want to make nationals for my events,” said Kelly.  

Senior Ava Boyd, an exercise science major, agreed. “I want us to get our season highs on all events and make it to nationals as a team,” said Boyd.  

“They do have some team goals, like a team high score. The goal for everyone is to qualify for nationals as a team We also want to be ranked in the top four for our conference” said head coach Byron Knox.  

Looking back at the 2022-23 season so far, Kelly has many highlights. “I made the vault and floor lineups as a freshman. It can be kind of hard to compete while being a freshman so it is definitely a highlight.”  

The team’s most recent competition took place at  Brown University. While the Owls ended second with  an overall 192.500 to 194.775 loss, there were many high points. Senior Angel Lee scored a 9.850 on the Beam, which is the best score for any Southern gymnast in any event this season. Lee  also won the Beam event over Brown. 

Other recent highlights came from the quad meet at Rutgers in New Jersey where the Southern Owls were the only NCAA division two team in attendance. That did not  stop them, from taking a win over Fisk University and having close scores against Rutgers and the University of Michigan. The team recorded a season-high record score of 190.700 points. 

“Every competition we have gotten a little bit better. The expectation is always to compete to win” said Knox, who also noted “our strongest event this year is floor, which was our weakest last year”. 

The next meet will take place at Yale University in New Haven against Yale and University of Bridgeport. From there, five more competitions are scheduled before the all-important Gymnastics East Championship in Virginia.  

The NCAA East Regionals and USA Gymnastics College nationals will be held in March and April, respectively.  

When asked how the team is preparing for the next few months, Kelly said, “We are in the gym constantly training. Every day we need to come in with an open mindset and have our heads on straight. We do the best we can at practice, even on the hard days, to keep pushing through”. 

Boyd said, “We are just coming to the gym every day and working our hardest, having good relationships with the team, and I am just trying to stay as healthy as I can”.  

It is clear when watching the team how well they work together. When each gymnast competes on the floor, her teammates are sure to cheer her on by replicating her choreography from the sidelines. 

Kelly says, “We are getting better as a team and our atmosphere as a team is really good”.  

Undoubtedly, such a strong sense of teamwork combined with the incredible talent of each athlete propel the Owls to future success this season. 

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