Already five meets into the season before the UC Davis meet, the Seawolves have received variable results from week to week, but the gymnasts, including junior Kendra Daniels, can barely keep up with the quick season.
“It has flown by. Pre-season felt like it was dragging on and the team was ready to compete, it’s hard to think we only have a couple more meets and then it’s over,” Daniels said.
The began with a rocky start in the Northeast in early January with two back to back losses in the Virginia opener and Maryland quad meet, neither time breaking a score of 188 when their goal is always 190.
However, soon after, things started looking positive in the mid-season for the Seawolves. Although neither meet produced a score of 190, the gymnasts secured two wins with their home field advantage. Wisconsin-Stout joined the Seawolves at the Alaska Airlines Center for two separate meets that allowed the gymnasts to score the previous season high score of 189.350.
Not long after, the team performed the current season high score of 190.900, finally bypassing the 190 barrier — In Sacramento against the Hornets. Although it was a season high, the meet still resulted in a loss behind Sacramento’s 194.900.
Although they pulled off what they wanted, head coach Paul Stoklos reflected that it wasn’t under the best circumstances.
“We had our season high score and we walked away from that really quite happy because we had two of our competitors out of our lineup, one go out with an injury during the event, and one out with the flu right before… but we still pulled it off,” Stoklos said.
These meets lead the Seawolves to the weekend of Feb. 17-19 in Davis, California with a record of two wins and three losses.
Only five meets in and five meets left, the team realized how important these upcoming meets were.
“We are at the halfway point of the season, both time wise and competition wise… but everyone is really stepping up and doing a great job,” said head coach Stoklos.
The meet proved to be rather successful for individual gymnasts but lacked with the overall team score.
Standout junior Madeleine Arbuckle, a Winnipeg local, secured her career-best score of 38.000 all-around with an impressive 9.625 in floor being the highest of all her events.
Arbuckle also boasted a score of 9.500 in uneven bars, just barely edging past her previous season record of 9.425. In addition, her beam score of 9.575 lead her to a three-way tie with senior Brice Mizell and sophomore Kaylin Mancari who shared fifth place in beam.
The only other all-arounder on UAA’s side was junior Morgan Ross. The Reno, NV local just barely fell behind Arbuckle with a final score of 37.625. Securing top UAA performances in vault with a score of 9.625 and in floor with 9.800, putting her at second place in the floor exercise.
Ross wasn’t the only one able to succeed in floor, Daniels — who only began floor in college — was able to pull through for a tie for third with a score of 9.750.
“I had always wanted to do floor, and turned out it was one of my better events in college so being able to help out with that is amazing,” Daniels said.
In addition, the Seawolves produced a season-best team total on uneven bars resulting in a score of 46.975. The uneven bars was led by senior Nicole Larkin, although scoring an impressive 9.700, it only put her at sixth overall, followed by freshman Mackenzie Miller (9.525) and Arbuckle, in eighth and ninth respectively.
Overall, the gymnasts performed exceptionally well as individuals, but it wasn’t enough to surpass UC Davis’ score of 194.900 while the Seawolves fell behind 189.350.
With a second chance to redeem themselves, the Seawolves rematched the Aggies on Sunday, Feb. 19. After returning to Alaska, the gymnasts will have several weeks off before returning to competition at home joined by Centenary College of Louisiana at the Alaska Airlines Center on Mar. 3-5.
“With so many meets in such a short amount of time… we cram it all into a 10-11 period week of time, but i know it every year and warn the athletes every year it’ll be over before [we] know it,” Stoklos said.
Quickly afterwards, the gymnasts head to the Conference Championships when it seemed to be just the beginning of their season.