Just like the revamped SoonerSports.com, Inside Glimpse, which chronicles the happenings of the Oklahoma women's gymnastics program through the eyes of assistant coach Nilson Savage, is back with a new look. Savage's Inside Glimpse, which has been a regular feature on OU's athletics website for the last year, focuses on news and issues that the sporting public does not usually have access to. In this entry Savage talks about the team's status this summer and what the coaching staff has been up to.
Inside Glimpse No. 7
July 8, 2003
The frustration of not qualifying to the NCAA National Championship is still tormenting some of us. This is the second year in the row that we went to the NCAA Regional Championships as the second ranked team and came out just .025 short of our goal. We learned that every stuck dismount is crucial for the success of our team.
I have never seen this team more committed than they are this summer. We have five girls taking summer classes and working out. Their attitudes are very positive. They are all learning new skills and training to keep in shape for the preseason workouts. Our schedule is finalized and we are kicking off our season in paradise. Last year we began with the Super Six Challenge and didn?t perform well. We decided that we need meet a week prior to the Super Six this year, in order to prepare ourselves for a good showing at Alabama. What a better place to be than Cancun, Mexico. We are opening the year against University of Washington, Texas Woman?s University, and the University of Iowa at the Hilton Cancun Beach and Golf Resort Convention Center. This meet should be a great target for our team to work towards. We hope the team builds some confidence and gets comfortable in an arena before the Super Six Challenge.
Our competition schedule this year will consist of a very challenging home schedule with Nebraska, Iowa State, and Stanford visiting the Lloyd Noble Center. For our away competitions, we will be traveling all over the world, starting off in Cancun, Mexico, then the Super Six Challenge for the second consecutive year. Later in the season we will meet the Gymdogs (U of Georgia), Penn State, and Southern Utah University.
We are very sad to lose two of our top competitors from last year. Seniors, Patricia Aoki, and Christy Gerard, contributed a great deal to our team over the past couple of years. Patricia was a strong all-arounder for four years and Christy Gerard competed vault, floor, and beam consistently during 2003.
We recently completed our summer gymnastics camp, which was filled with surprises and a lot of fun. We had Shannon Miller joining our staff this year. She is really amazing. I couldn?t be more pleased about the success of this year?s summer camp. We broke our enrollment record with almost 200 hundred campers and more importantly, we had more than 50% of our campers achieve their goals during our 8 day camp.
We are in full swing with our recruiting for the 2005 season. Last week was the first time we were allowed to talk to our prospective student athletes. We?ve already had tremendous success making personal connections with some of the best gymnasts in the country. The coaching staff, including myself, is anxious to get out on the road and sit down with the student-athletes, their families and coach?s. Recruiting a long process but it is fun to get out of the office and get back to our roots in gymnastics.
I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and keep an eye on the Sooners this summer.
Thanks for stopping by SoonerSports.com.