For senior Marcy Miller, gymnastics has been her entire life.
Starting as a toddler, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native local progressed has developed into arguably one of the top women’s gymnasts in UC Davis history.
This season, she won the all-around at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships and finished off the regular season with an average of 38.618.
Coach John Lavallee has nothing but positive things to say about this instrumental member of the Aggie team.
This Saturday, she is going to compete in what will probably be the last gymnastics competition of her life at the NCAA Regionals in Corvallis, Ore.
Miller took a break from preparing for this weekend’s competition to talk with Aggie Ssports Wwriter Caleigh Guoynes to talk about her UC Davis career…, ….
How did you get your start in gymnastics?
I started at three years old. My mom said I had a lot of energy – I would do cartwheels down the aisles of the grocery store and climb the couches at my house. My mom wanted to put me in a sport where I could utilize all of that energy.
Since you have been doing this sport all of your life, you know gymnastics inside and out. Are there any myths about the sport you would like to clear up?
We are not just little girls. Most people ask us if we can do flips and cartwheels, but for us, that is just the basics. Ask us where we can do flips and cartwheels. We’d also love to see a big home crowd cheering and screaming. Our sport is all about the presentation and working the crowd. Come out and we’ll probably do a little butt shake for you.
Some of the places you do your flips include on the floor, balance beam and bars. What is your favorite skill that you’ve learned?
I really like the bar dismount I put in my routine junior year. It’s called a double layout, and it feels like you’re flying. It was fun to train and fun to do. It feels like you are defying gravity for a second, and then you stick it.
You compete in the floor, balance bean, bars and vault. Which do you like the mostbest?
In competition, my favorite event is the floor exercise because I pick my own music and choreograph dance moves I like. I can relax and play to the crowd. I just love smiling at the judges to try and get that extra tenth of a point.
You’ll be competing in all-around this weekend, which consists of all four events. How does it feel to be participating at NCAA Regionals for the first time?
Last year, I was an alternate for beam, so this year it became a personal goal to get to NCAA Regionals. The all-around had never clicked before – one event was always weaker. But this year everything was even and strong.
What are you most excited about for this weekend?
I am going to be part of Nebraska’s team. They are ranked tenth in the nation. It will be really cool to compete in the same arena as they are, and be an “adopted” member of the team. I’m also really glad to share this experience with my freshman teammate Anna Shumaker.
Since this is such a big meet, you must have some apprehensions. What do you fear most about the meet?
Competing on beam is both the most dangerous and nerve-racking. You only have four inches of space to do all of these flips and tricks. But I am glad that I will start on beam at the NCAA Regionals. It’s the scariest event, but once I hit it, I’m on the floor and will be able to let loose.
This will be your last meet as a collegiate gymnast. How will it feel to be done?
I’m looking forward to it. I’m retiring at the peak of my career. I couldn’t have dreamed for a better season. I achieved goals higher than I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I’m ready for the transition into something different.
Speaking of something different, what are your plans for the future?
I am graduating this quarter, and in August I have a job in San Francisco at a health care consulting company. I have to wear a suit every day. It will be a completely different lifestyle.
In the future, will you put your kids in gymnastics?
I definitely will when they’re little. It’s great for kids to learn coordination and discipline. I’m not sure if I would want them to go all the way like I did though. A lot of girls get really bad injuries. I would not want my kids to go through what I’ve seen some of my teammates deal with.
Even though you’re moving on, will you ever return to gymnastics?
I plan to come back for home competitions and I already promised my teammates that I would be here for the alumni meet. I’m excited to be in the stands. I won’t be a stranger to Aggie gymnastics, but I won’t be coming to compete, just to support.
CALEIGH GUOYNES can be reached at email@example.com.