Shannon, Paul and Sue Bowles at the NCAA Woman of the Year banquet.
Nov. 12, 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.
The weekend before last, Megan went to Indianapolis to be with Shannon Bowles and her parents for the "NCAA Woman of the Year" award ceremonies. Megan said that all of the activities were extremely well organized and first class. The NCAA staff made every one of the state winners feel very special. Shannon was selected as one of the top ten finalists. We are all very proud of Shannon and miss her very much. She is now back home in New Hampshire doing an internship with UNH athletics, working with nutrition, strength and conditioning, while she decides where she will go to graduate school next fall.
The UTES had another great week of training that concluded with "show-and-tell 2" on Friday. Everyone added more skills to their routines and full sets are just a skill or two away for everyone. Actually, Mel and Nat were the first to do full floor routines and did them very well I might add. As for the team in general, everyone is moving along faster than expected and the coaching staff is happy with their progress. Only one more week of "routine development" and then we head into competition sets. The team is getting anxious because this means the season is right around the corner. Man does time fly when you're having fun! The team can't wait to get out on the Huntsman Center floor.
U...T...E...S LET'S GO BEAM!
This year, as always, I think beam will be one of Utah's strongest events. Ky is doing her same awesome routine but she has added a split jump full, a switch leg side to prone and very unique gainer front full dismount. Captain Kuli (beautiful as always) has been working a front aerial to ring jump (very difficult) and she may even surprise us this year with a gainer double full dismount. Right now it is a work in progress, but it's getting pretty close. Pres (Kim) has been solid on beam lately, her flight series, a huge round off - layout to a two-foot landing, has improved tremendously in the past month, and she has added a jump full to wolf jump. I even caught her smiling in a beam routine!
"V" has added some new skills this year and they are looking great. She is doing a flick - flick - lay for her series and has added a jump 3/4 to prone and a switch leg leap to a double stag ring jump. Third time's a charm for Mel. Ladies and gentlemen, she is going to knock your socks off ! She is working a flick - lay - lay flight series, and a triple twist dismount. Just to let you know, these are two extremely difficult skills, so don't be disappointed if you don't see them the first few meets. But she promises to have them in by the end of the season.
Gritty has been hurting a little lately (pulled abductor) but she has put together quite a nice routine with a cool jump to split sit mount, flick - lay series, jump full to straddle jump and a big split jump full. Megan says she has one of the prettiest side sumi's she has ever seen and her performance style is dynamic. A.B. is a very powerful, yet graceful, beam worker. She is still doing her huge front tuck mount, flick - lay series, punch front to pike jump and double tuck dismount. She has also added a gorgeous double stag ring jump.
Dom has a nice beam set full of excitement. She has several big leaps and combinations, switch leg to Popa and a tuck jump full to scissone, but my favorite is her unique front tuck to Korbut series. Nat has looked great on beam so far; she has stylish dance and her leaps are beautiful. She has a flick - flick lay series, a difficult switch leg - straddle jump to wolf full and a cool mount where she does a free leap onto the beam to an immediate switch leg side. She is also working a front aerial and is hoping to put that in A.S.A.P. Rif is also working hard on beam and is doing very well. She has a front tuck mount, a switch leap to switch side, a front tuck to pike jump, wolf jump to Korbut and dismounts with a double tuck. Oh, and she has the coolest head stand "thing," you just have to see it! Sparkie (Crystal) has a really interesting routine. Her dance is unique and I can't wait for you to see it. She has a flick - lay - flick series, switch leg - straddle - straddle, tuck jump full, a side sumi, and is dismounting with a round off double twist.
The "beaming UTES" are going to be very exciting to watch this year because there is such a variety in styles and skills performed from one gymnast to the next. Of course the name of the game on beam is to stay on - but coach Megan always does a great job of having the gymnasts ready to hit their sets.
During the past few weeks I have seen the girls working and fighting to make every day count. It reminded me of a quote that has been very important in my life and maybe it will mean something to you as well: "the harder you work, the harder it is to surrender!"
Nicknames: Ky - Kylee Wagner Kuli / Kulio - Theresa Kulikowski (team captain) Pres - Kim Allan (President of Student Athlete Advisory Counsel, SAAC) Gritty - Gritt Hofmann AB - Annabeth Eberle "V" - Veronique Leclerc ( my roomie) Mel - Melissa Vituj (my other roomie) Dom - Dominique D'Oliveira Nat - Natalie Nicoloff Rif - Kristen Riffanacht Sparkie - Crystal Gilmore