Gym Talk With Casey Jay

Hello Spartan fans!

I’m Casey Jay, a senior on the team and local right out of San Jose. The last few years have definitely been a thrilling ride, and this one is no exception. Knowing that this is my last year on the team is really sad, although I admit I won’t miss 7 a.m. conditioning too much, which we will finish up with this week. But with one semester to go until I earn my degree in journalism, and one more season of gymnastics to spend with some amazing girls, I am looking forward to making the most of all of it.

The last “Gym Talk” brought us up through Halloween, and since then we all shared another holiday together: Thanksgiving. Before everyone left to go home and celebrate with their families, we all helped out with some community service at Sacred Heart. We were split up into groups with various jobs such as sorting used clothes, handing out food, and decorating the center to help Sacred Heart during one of their busiest times.

After a little break for Thanksgiving, we got right back into the gym to prepare for our quickly approaching season. We have even already started showing off our stuff by participating in an exhibition meet with Stanford. On Sunday, December 2, we met the Cardinal in their practice gym for some pre-season competition. All our hard work in practice really showed because we hit 26 out of the 30 routines we competed. The idea of a pre-season meet is pretty new, and it was a great success. It gave us the opportunity to get into competition mode early and to try out some more difficult skills without as much pressure as an official meet.

Highlights of the exhibition came from both old and new faces on the team. Sophomore Tiffany Louie displayed a new tumbling pass on floor, a full-twisting double back, as well as a new release move on bars. Junior Alise Blackwell went big on floor too, showing off a double layout. The floor line-up also has many new routines, with upbeat music and fun choreography. The vault squad was very strong, with seniors Raylyn Cardeno and Michelle Minotti leading the group with full-twisting layout Yurchenkos, worth a 10.0 difficulty level, and freshman Lily Swann proved she has what it takes to be an all-arounder, hitting all four of her routines.

The meet was judged by alumni gymnasts of both teams, including our own Amberly Klein and Dani Johnson. Dec. 2 was also Coach Wayne’s birthday, so we finished the meet with cake and singing for his special day. Wayne repeatedly denied that he had just turned 50, but no one really knows for sure.

If you missed the exhibition at Stanford, there’s no need to worry, because this Sunday, December 9, is our Blue and Gold intrasquad meet. We will be showing off our best routines so everyone can get a taste of Spartan gymnastics before the official season begins. So don’t forget to be at Spartan Gym at 4:30 p.m. for the one meet where it really is all about us.

Finally, with winter break just around the corner, we are all also working hard outside the gym to earn good grades this semester. Finals begin next week, and we have our eyes on the Top GPA award, so everyone is hitting the books to make it happen.

OK, that’s about everything going on with us. Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season, and go Spartans!

Past Installments of Gym Talk

September 5 - Liz Major
September 28 - Gabby Targosz

October 14 - Adriane Mertens
November 1 - Amberly Klein
November 21 - Renae Moneymaker
December 19 - Michelle Minotti
January 18 - Casey Jay
February 3 - Leah Bigelow
February 28 - Veronica Porte
March 17 - Liz Major