UAA Gymnastics squad is on an upward flight

Stefany Bryan performs a routine on the balance beam. (Photos courtesy of Sam Wasson / UAA Athletics)
Stefany Bryan performs a routine on the balance beam. (Photos courtesy of Sam Wasson / UAA Athletics)

The Seawolf gymnastics team is gearing up for the last leg of the season. Through seven meets, the club appears capable of a strong finish.

A 3-4 record looks less than mediocre on paper, but don’t let it fool you. Two of the Seawolves’ losses are actually second place finishes in three-team meets, and one of those meets was lost by less than half of a point.

The season can’t be measured by the numbers in the Seawolves’ record — it goes deeper than that. A little digging reveals a team on the rise.

Freshman gymnast Stefany Bryan agrees.

“The season’s going well,” Bryan said. “Each meet we keep improving, and at this rate, we can do really well at conference.”

Bryan was recruited from Seattle, Wash., where she won the all-around state title in 2010. She’s had an immediate impact on the gymnastics program. Her 9.51 and 9.29 averages in the bars and floor exercises are some of the best on the team.

Bryan’s optimism is also warranted. The team’s current season indicates that a solid performance at the conference championships could be afoot.

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The biggest sign of future success comes from the Seawolves’ total averages.

Total averages are calculated by adding up the team’s combined averages in the vault, floor, bars and beam events. If the entire squad gets tens in every event, they’ll end with a perfect score of 200. The team who gets closest to 200 wins the meet.

In short, high numbers are good and low numbers aren’t so good. Over the course of the season, the Seawolves have been trending toward the good side.

The Seawolves started the year with a 187.43-point outing. They finished their most recent meet at 192.85 points, which was their largest number yet. They were also consistently dropping 191-point totals between those two meets.

Stefany Bryan performs her floor routine.
Stefany Bryan performs her floor routine.

The Seawolves have not only improved over this season, they’ve also raised their averages from last year. In 2012, their season total average was 188.8. This year they’re hitting an average point total of 190.95.

To understand how important the two-point upswing is, check out the Seawolves’ box scores. No more than 1.03 points have decided their last five meets. The two-point leap means a lot when dealing with such slim margins.

The numbers tell a story of a team that’s on the up-and-up. They’ve shown improvement and are conditioned to succeed. Now it’s time for them to stick the landing.

The Seawolves completed their final home meet Feb. 17, losing a nail-biter to Eastern Michigan. Their next competition takes place March 7 in Mount Pleasant, Mich., against Eastern Michigan.