Alexa Solomon Aims to Top Historic Season in 2023

Alexa Solomon has big shoes to fill in her upcoming senior season: they’re her own from last year. She holds a career high on bars of 9.900 and is one of San Jose State’s three captains for 2023. While she’s grateful to have those statistics, she’s most excited to say she made it to her fourth year as a Division I gymnast. Pushing through the last three years of recovery and schoolwork on top of the actual gymnastics is an accomplishment she prides herself on. 

Her personal goal as well as the team’s are both to top last season’s highs, which included a host of program records and a berth to regionals. She often hears the phrase, “You are your own biggest competitor,” and so she aims to better that competition for herself. 

Solomon looks back on 2022 as her first “normal” collegiate season after COVID and injuries hampered her freshman and sophomore years. No less a part of the team, she’s enjoyed watching the program grow in her time as a Spartan. Day in and day out, the team improves. “It’s just [about] showing everybody what we’ve been working on, the hard work that the coaches and all the girls have been doing.” On her account, the gymnasts do a good job of staying in their bubble and focusing on the work that lies ahead. 

San Jose State’s diverse campus culture was impressed upon Solomon during her recruiting journey, which ultimately drew her to the school. “What I envisioned the school to be like is what I got,” she notes. While she tends to keep her faith, school and athletic lives separate, she appreciates how inclusive San Jose’s gymnastics program is. “Coaches, teammates—they’re all very inclusive and aware that there’s more than one religion, more beliefs. Whenever I have an idea or something I want to do to celebrate my faith, they’re completely open and willing to do that, which I really appreciate.”

Coming from a family of collegiate and professional athletes, it seems only natural she draws athletic inspiration from those she knows personally. Solomon admires her younger brother, who now plays Division I basketball. “I really look up to him because [we] didn’t get too involved in our faith until recently. Seeing him grow with his religion and with his sport simultaneously is really inspiring and makes me want to keep up with the religion as well,” she said.

Her involvement with Judaism, both as a culture and as a religion, take form in her participation in an on-campus group for Jewish women. While the gymnastics season may be a difficult time to stay up-to-date with extracurriculars, she’ll be eager to see the group grow—even if it must be from afar. In her words, “It’s really cool to keep an open mind and know that there are people that have similar beliefs to you wherever you go. Just knowing there is a community that’s available is important”. 

Solomon will look to begin her senior season with a double header on the road. The Spartans will be facing Stanford on January 14 and then Air Force on the 16th. 

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Article by Peri Goodman

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