Annabeth Eberle is already flying high on the uneven bars.
Nov. 5, 2002
SALT LAKE CITY -
Annie Medcalf, a member of Utah's gymnastics team from 2001-02, had a promising career cut short when a tumor was discovered in her vertebra. She underwent surgery last spring that required the fusing of five vertebrae, along with the removal of the tumor. Medcalf, a former U.S. National Team member from Stow, Ohio, has remained with the Utah team as an undergraduate student-assistant coach while she completes her academic degree. She is also writing a weekly diary.
I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween, because the UTES sure did. Some of the girls actually got dressed up and went trick-or-treating. Now I know what you're thinking, they are way too old for that. But, if you think about it, Halloween is all about the experience, not the candy. Plus, there aren't many positive things to being short so we have to take advantage of every opportunity we get. Having people mistake you for a 12 year old, isn't such a bad thing when you are trick-or-treating.
Things in the gym are moving right along. In fact, the girls did full sets last Friday! It was the end of the week and the team was looking pretty dead, so Greg decided to kick it up a notch, break the monotony and have a show and tell (as much of one full competition routine as they could do on each event). It went great, the team rose to the challenge and the athletes did even better than anyone expected. This was a perfect opportunity to find out where everyone is at this point of preseason and I think the girls realized they are way ahead of schedule.
Now, let's continue our discussion about specific events. This week, I'll be giving you a little more info about Utah's bars. First of all, everyone is working on half to three-quarter routines and trying to get them as clean and consistent as possible. Besides that, each girl is working upgrades to eventually put into her routine. Kim is working on a giant full directly into a ginger and has one of the biggest double layout dismounts you'll ever see. Kylee is really motivated this year, and finally after four years, has a major release (straddle Jeager). Kulio is training a double front dismount and a beautiful shoot over to handstand. Of course the rest of her routine is as perfectly executed as usual. Mel is working on perfecting her giant fulls so she can connect directly to her double full dismount. She is also getting the hang of shoot overs and should be making them to handstand by our first meet. "V" is incredible! She learned a piked Yeager out of inverted giants (if you don't know, inverted giants are front giants with your hands turned toward the outside of your body instead of regular front giants where your hands turn in). Not many people can do inverted giants, but Veronique has some of the prettiest I have ever seen. Then there is A.B. She is doing awesome, too, and you should see some major changes in her routine this year. She is working a giant 1 1/2 right into a shoot over to handstand and she is also training a new Arabian double front dismount.
Gritt is finally starting to do more on bars and has caught a few giant full to Gingers and is planning to dismount with a double twist. Dominique is a great bar swinger. She has a consistent giant full to ginger, a clean shoot over to handstand, and a huge double pike dismount. She is also working a full twisting double back dismount. Natalie has been working extra hard on bars and has completely changed her routine. She just learned an up-rise to handstand, giant full to a gorgeous reverse hecht, straddle back to handstand. It is all coming wonderfully and she could be our biggest surprise on this event. Crystal's biggest challenge on bars is form, but she is working hard at it and getting better each week. She has a really nice giant full, giant 1/2, to Yeager and a shoot over to handstand. Kristen has been swinging well and is really working on her form too. She has a giant 1/2 to a gigantic piked Yeager, a Higgens roll, straddle back to handstand and a very pretty double front dismount. Basically, bars is going to be really fun to watch this year and you should see a lot of new and exciting tricks.
Gymnastics is a sport where you have to be on top of your game every day and you have to give everything you have no matter what because there is always someone out there trying to work harder and be better than you. The Red Rocks are doing it though: they are training hard and improving every week. For there is no greater tragedy than doing nothing for fear of doing too little!