The abrupt conclusion of the 2020 gymnastics season stirred up almost every emotion imaginable from athletes, coaches and fans around the country. However, senior athletes in particular took the news the hardest as they lost their final meets of their gymnastics careers. For this reason, we wanted to give these athletes the opportunity to be recognized one more time, so we created this piece as a place for them to share any pictures, videos, memories or thoughts about their college athletic experience.
Thank you and congratulations NCGA seniors for your dedication to this sport and your dedication to DIII athletics—you will be missed!
Courtney Kamberalis on the conclusion of the 2020 season:
It took quite some time to take in all that happened as our season abruptly came to an end at our last practice before we went to regionals. As days passed, the reality set in that I had competed in my last competition of my life and hadn’t even known it at the time. As upsetting as it was to get the end of our senior season so quickly taken out from under us, nothing will take away from the amazing moments and memories throughout my three years at Brockport, or all of the hard work we put into this season. I wish more than anything we got to finish this season together until the end, but I feel incredibly blessed for every opportunity I got to put on the Brockport leotard and compete for my team and my school.
Alyssa Klock on her favorite memory:
My favorite college memory would have to be the rush after a hit routine. Whether it be in a practice or a competition, the amount of love that my team showed me was absolutely unbelievable. Every person on this team cared about each other’s successes so much, and it showed through the encouragement and the faith that we all had in each other. I’ll definitely miss the moments that I couldn’t even hear myself think because of the noise and energy my teammates would create. This is something that I will never forget and proves that these girls are there for me through absolutely anything.
Kim Musall on who inspired her:
My inspiration was my older sister. She did college gymnastics at Bridgeport. Her dedication and hard work to never give up encouraged me to follow in her footsteps. The family she built with her teammates and the energy of the competitions fueled me to want to pursue college gymnastics.
Ashley Scarantino on the conclusion of the 2020 season:
Throughout this season, my team created so many incredible moments together. Even though I never expected to say goodbye to this incredible sport the way I had to, I would not change anything about the past four years I was a Cortland gymnast. I cherished every moment I was able to wear a leotard and learned what it takes to be a good teammate and leader. One of my proudest accomplishments was how I was able to make a comeback my senior year on two events that I had not competed since high school. Although I had a rollercoaster of a collegiate athletic career due to two season-ending injuries, I am still proud of all the goals I have achieved during this experience. As much as I wish I could have known when my last time was going to be to represent my school alongside my best friends, I am thankful for all the opportunities I did have.
Caitlin Cooper on who inspired her:
I draw my inspiration from Aly Raisman. Her grace, strength and determination are empowering. Watching her push for a second Olympics and advocate for women has really shown me that I can push myself to do anything I set my mind to.
Rhode Island College
Grace Davis on the conclusion of the 2020 season:
As heartbreaking as it was, I saw our season ending as a sign that everything happens for a reason. It put life into a “play every game like it’s your last” perspective. I was thankful to have made it this far and to leave the sport on a high note.
Chandler Lynn on who inspired her:
My younger self inspired me. The little girl growing up that dreamt of competing in college and did everything in her power to achieve that dream. Whenever times got tough, I ALWAYS thought back to that little girl that overcame so much adversity to get where she is today. I remembered to stand tall because of her. I owe everything that I accomplished in my collegiate career to her because she gave me the confidence and the motivation to push through countless injuries and countless obstacles and most importantly, she taught me how to be resilient and to never give up…and I never did.
Kyndel Yett on her favorite memory:
If I had to look back on my favorite moment of the college career, I would say it was regionals 2019. That meet gives me chills every time I think about it. We broke three school records that day but a total of nine throughout the whole season. It was the highest team score we have on record, and it was just the most amazing feeling in the world. I would do anything to go back to that day and relive it.
Taylor Jackson on her favorite memory:
Each year of my college gymnastics career something special happened that makes it a favorite college memory. My freshman year, our team qualified for nationals for the first time since 2010. My sophomore year, I tied Springfield’s vault school record at our east regional competition at Rhode Island College with a score of 9.725. This score granted me the opportunity to compete as an individual on vault at nationals as well. My junior year, I again qualified for nationals as an individual on vault, and at nationals I debuted an upgraded vault (front front half) that I had been working on throughout the season. This season, my favorite memory was sticking two of my vaults in competition—one at an away competition at West Chester and the second at my senior meet at home.
Sierra Coonts on who inspired her:
Throughout my time on the UW-Stout gymnastics team I was continually inspired by my teammates. We bring such a high level of energy that can be felt even outside of the gym. I am inspired by each and every one of them, especially the other seniors. The way my team holds each other accountable, works through injuries and motivates each other to be one step better is something that inspires me in life outside of the gym. We strive for progress and focus on our culture. There is no team I would rather be a part of.
Skylar Haas on her favorite memory:
There are obviously so many great moments in my gymnastics career that I could talk about, but I will talk about this one: I qualified for nationals on beam individually in 2019. As a joke, I told my coach I wanted to do my three-flight (BHS + BHS + LOSO) just for fun. Nothing to lose once you’re at nationals, right? This was a skill I hadn’t competed since I was 10 years old, so 10 years ago. That joke turned into a reality. I trained all of spring break to get the skill back and be confident enough to compete it again. I remember nailing it in my routine and being so excited. It was the first skill in my routine, and I was just so happy I stayed on, that I basically forgot how to do the rest of my routine. I wobbled on everything else, but I didn’t even care because I competed a skill I hadn’t done since my childhood. My teammates at home were watching the meet live, and I remember them posting a video of my routine. After I hit my series they all screamed and sounded so happy. I still get emotional thinking about this moment. I then competed the new series my entire senior year, and I am so proud that I was able to upgrade like that late in my college career.
Breanna Couts on the conclusion of the 2020 season:
I was devastated on how this season ended because it was ripped away from me, and I did not have the closure I wanted with this sport—especially since I finally loved it again. I was doing the best I have ever done physically and mentally, and I know my team was too. We had a real shot at making it to nationals, which was also a really hard hit because we were peaking when we needed to and worked very hard to become the team we were this year. I didn’t leave anything out there this season and have no regrets with this sport. I am happy with the last routine I ever did for Ursinus because it really showed who I was as a gymnast. I was having a really bad warm-up for both the 15-minute and the four-minute touch, but ended up doing one of the best vaults of my life. The happiness and excitement I felt after that vault is something I am happy to have ended on. I ended my career as a gymnast with the same amount of joy and passion that I had when I started gymnastics. I couldn’t have asked for more. Even though it was not the way I wanted to end my gymnastics career, I can honestly say that I am proud of my four years at Ursinus and would not change a thing because it has made me who I am today.
Bre is excited! After her 9.5 we’re all excited!! pic.twitter.com/xdgcr7TsAa
— Ursinus Gymnastics (@UrsinusGym) March 8, 2020
Acacia Fossum on the conclusion of the 2020 season:
Hearing the news that we did not get to finish our season was one of the most heartbreaking moments I’ve ever experienced. I absolutely hate the feeling of “what if,” and I hate how all of the seniors in the country are robbed of something we’ve worked so hard for our entire lives. With that being said, I still couldn’t be happier with the way my career went. This year was one of the best I’ve experienced while being a part of a team. We were all so close and so dedicated to be better for each other every single day. Even though we didn’t get to finish it, this season was a perfect season to end my career. This sport is so much more than being able to have one last meet… It has taught me countless lessons, brought me my best friends and made me who I am today. I will forever have a special place in my heart for the 2020 UW-Whitewater gymnastics team. Though it was hard to hear the news and feel everything we have the past couple weeks, I am nothing but thankful for this season and every season before.
Lauren Marshall on her favorite memory:
My favorite memory was my sophomore year, when our team won the national championship (2018)—that indescribable feeling we all had when they called our name. I remember looking around the circle at the faces of every girl on that team with tears streaming down my face. I was so proud of everyone for what we had done that day and where we came from back when we started in September. It felt so rewarding to know that all of the hard work we put in was so worth it.
Jessi Rondeau on who inspired her:
While growing up, my biggest inspiration was my younger sister, Jada. She does gymnastics, and being as competitive as we are she always tried her very best to beat whatever score or place I had received the year before her. When we were younger, I never wanted her to beat me, so I had to set the standard high so it would be difficult for her to reach. Looking back at that now, if I remember correctly, I think she beat the majority of my scores/places. (I hate to admit it. Because of our rivalry, I like to pretend to take the credit for why she’s so good now.)
Article by Allie DiBiase and Rachel Riesterer
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