Lee makes history at conference championship
Matt Cain – Contributor
Angel Lee becomes the first Owl to win the Gymnastics East Balance Beam Championship, GEC at the conference championship.
The university gymnastics program has been around for some time now, they are now the team is going to nationals for the first time since 2004. The team is led by a sophomore standout and a quality point scorer, Angel Lee. Lee is having a breakout season, with her only being in her sophomore year she surprised everyone. Lee won the balance beam at the conference meet and her impressive score held up through both sessions. Her win at the conference would make history, as she is the first owl to win the beam.
Angel put up a score of 9.70 and 9.85 on the beam. This score would contribute to a 48.57 team score on the beam. Lee plays a pivotal part on the team this year. Her maturity and work ethic have been on full display this year as well. She impacts the team every day at practice and at competition as well.
For one she is loved by her teammates. Libby Allen sophomore All around competitor, speaks highly and loves training with her.
“She makes practices fun, and she stays positive all the time.” Allen said.
With the practices sometimes being long, Lee brings the team’s comradery to the table with her positive attitude.
“We have been positive, happy, we have been ready to compete.” Allen also stated.
Allen and Lee practice together and learn from each other all the time. They met last year as freshmen and have been friends ever since. Lee has grown since last year. She now has a definite spot in the lineup, rather than working to try and get a spot in the lineup last year as she did last year.
Angel Lee herself knew what she was capable of. Through all the madness, she managed to stay relaxed and focused. After scoring big points in back-to-back meets, she was not shaken. She managed to stay calm and composed.
“My mentality was surprisingly calm, this year coming in it wasn’t that scary and it all kind of leveled out,” Lee said.
Coming into this season Lee knew the work she put in and just wanted to execute. However, the season is very long and can be draining. Lee manages to push through and stay strong. Since Lee is having a great season, Lee and the coaching staff decided that two-thirds through the season is when she can take it easy.
“I told the coaches that I’m barely doing anything, I need to recharge,” Lee said.
With Lee performing out of her mind this season, the one person that was really surprised was coach Knox.
Coach Knox has been the head coach of the gymnastics program for over three years.
“In my years, she is light-hearted and just comes to the table with a different attitude.” Coach Knox said
Angel Lee carries herself very well. She is not only a huge help on the team but also gets involved on campus. Lee also is handling business in the classroom too; she is holding over a 3.0 grade-point average. Lee is not only a well-rounded athlete, but a well-rounded student also.
“She is mature in many ways and gets involved with everything on campus. She does all this and still fulfills her study hours,” Knox said.
Seems like to be a big part of this team, she brings high energy and a sense of maturity to the team. With her winning conference and now the team going to nationals, the team’s training has not changed but they are going a little easy before the big competition. Lee up there with the best, she now just focuses on the tiny details. Coach Knox and Angel decided to stay sharp and tighten up the small things. They plan to not make any minor mistakes that can cost them.
Angel Lee is undoubtedly leaving her mark on this team and for the rest of her competition. With her only being a sophomore, there are limits on what she can do. The sky is the limit.