This week poses a unique challenge for a lot of gymnasts on the team. With new NCAA rules implemented last year, half way through our season the format changes from 6 gymnasts up on every event and the top 5 scores counting to 5 gymnasts up on every event and all 5 scores counting. This poses a problem for the last 2 or 3 gymnasts on each event because they are fighting for that final spot.
This allows the guys on the team to not only compete against the teams every weekend but to compete against one another in the gym. With this 5 up, 5 count format, a hit routine is absolutely necessary because whatever score you receive from the judges has to count towards the team score. This little competition between teammates is creating an unreal environment in the gym. Although everybody wants to beat each other out for that 5th spot on the event, we still cheer each other on because we would prefer to have team success over individual success.
The choice which Coach Posner has to make when it comes to the lineup will be a difficult one. This week, we have the comeback of Ian Stratton to the all-around competition as he is coming off of his second broken ankle in two years. He has begun to do routines on floor and vault these past two weeks. Also, we look forward to seeing freshman DJ Carr hopefully break into lineup after an absence from the team for the first half of the semester. Carr likes to entertain the crowd with his sky-high front handspring double front on vault, which starts .8 higher than any other vault on the team.
With these rule changes approaching along with finals, I can speak for everyone on the team that we are looking forward to a week away from school work during spring break. Over spring break, 16 members of the team will stay on campus while the others will be allowed to go home and relax for the week. The 16 gymnasts that stay on campus are decided by whether or not they have a chance to compete as ECAC championships approach.
ECAC’s are just a few weeks away and Coach Posner, along with the assistant coaches, have created a practice schedule that allows us to peak the week of the ECAC competition. This practice schedule includes a number of 3 on 3’s and 2 on 3’s, which is when we do 2 or 3 routines on at least 3 different events. Next weekend, we have our first off weekend of the entire season. The team looks forward to that weekend in order to give our bodies a rest. The season is coming to an end and it looks like it is going to be a close one between all the teams in our conference. With this new 5 up, 5 count format, anything could happen.
Look forward to the next blog as I will discuss how the first competition of 5 up, 5 count lays out, and what the members of the team will look forward to doing with our week off of competition!