Missouri senior Danielle Guider was nervous as she stepped up to the bars Friday night at the MU gymnastics Black and Gold meet.
She executed the routine and stuck the landing.
“Oh my goodness, yes, I was very nervous,” Guider said. “Especially before bars.”
Guider helped lead the Gold over the Black, 156-155.35 inside the Hearnes Center. The Gold team consisted of senior Becky Scholle, junior Alex Gold, sophomore Mary Burke and freshman Tori Howard, along with Guider. The Black team was made up of seniors Brooke Boehmer and Sarah Shire, sophomores Tara Foster and Allie Heizelman, and freshmen Brittany Bendoff and Lauren Swankoski.
The bars were the first of four solid routines for Guider, who coach Rob Drass said has never competed for the Tigers as an all-around gymnast. All-around gymnasts are gymnasts who participate in each of the four events (bars, vault, floor and beam) during a meet. Guider finished the Black and Gold meet with an all-around score of 39.3, the third-highest individual score on the team.
“Pretty darn good all-around score for someone who hasn’t been able to crack into the lineup in the all-around,” Drass said. “That can win meets.”
Last season, Guider was in the lineup for the vault, beam and floor competitions. Missing was the bar routine. She said she has been working on improving her bar routine since her freshman year.
“I was never a really good bar swinger,” Guider said. “But my coaches kept with me and I was persistent. Now I have a consistent bar routine.”
After she stuck her dismount Friday at the end of her bar routine, a wide smile spread across Guider’s face as she gave a small fist pump. Her teammates came over to celebrate with her.
Guider said she enjoys participating in every event, and would want to be an all-around gymnast if it would help the team win. She wants to contribute in as many ways as possible during her senior year.
Both Drass and Guider said they thought the meet was a solid start to the season. Guider said her teammates handled the jitters that come with the first meet. Drass said this team is further along than most of his teams have been at the same point.
Drass was also quick to point out that this was only the beginning, and that MU has a number of improvements to make. The Tigers are looking to win the Big 12 championship and qualify for the national championships in the spring. To attain those goals, Drass said the team must work on the details of its routines.
“I really think this team’s got the potential to go further than any time I’ve had the pleasure of coaching here,” Drass said.
Guider echoed the thoughts of her coach. She’s excited about the potential of the 2009-2010 Tigers.
“I think we’ll be successful as long as we keep at it,” she said.
MU begins its regular season at 6:30 p.m. January 8 when Ohio St. comes to Columbia.