Recently in Women's Gymnastics Category

Women's Gymnastics 'Stickin' It' To Win

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By Gabrielle Richards, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - When women's gymnastics' head coach Jeff Thompson walked into the press room after Saturday's meet he had one thing to say, "I knew our girls could do this."

9716480.jpegHis smile lit up the room as he tried to communicate how proud he was of the performance of his Nittany Lions.

Last weekend's meet against Nebraska was a tough one to watch; seeing the women's gymnastics team tie their season high score, but fall short of a victory because of "sticks." The team's goal for this Saturday's meet was to "stick it," and they rose to the occasion, besting No.15 Illinois 196.675-196.500.

The Nittany Lions started out Saturday's double dual with their vault routines, posting a team score of 49.000. Sidney Sanabria-Robles and Emma Sibson led Penn State's vault program, posting scores of 9.875 and 9.850 respectively.

"We weren't sticking as many vault landings today, but when we got done with our bar rotation I knew we were on a roll," Thompson said. "The girls came to win today."

Kassidy Stauder led Penn State's bar rotation with a score of 9.875, with both Krystal Welsh and Sanabria-Robles posting 9.850 in their bar routines. The team posted a total bar score of 49.125.

Stauder, Weslsh and Sanabria-Robles were the top performers in the all around. Sanabria-Robles took home the gold with an all-around score of 39.425, her first of her collegiate career.

"They [Stauder, Welsh, Sanabria-Robles] gave impressive performances today," Thompson said. "This is a huge confidence booster for them."

Heading into the floor and bar rotation, Illinois was in the lead, but the Nittany Lions quickly answered. Illinois is arguably one of the best beam teams in the Big Ten, a fact that coach Thompson was well aware of heading into the meet.

"Illinois thought they would secure a lead with their beam routine," Thompson said. "We took control in our house, and we showed them who owns Rec Hall."

The Nittany Lions and the Fighting Illini ultimately tied on beam, each posting scores of 49.175.

The most impressive display of how tough the Big Ten gymnastics competition is was during the Nittany Lions' floor routine. After tying Illinois on beam, winning the floor rotation was a must in order to for the Nittany Lions to win. Welsh posted a 9.900, along with Randi Lau, Lindsay Musgrove and Stauder each scoring 9.875.

"We were so excited to go out there and do what we do in practice," Welsh said. "We did that with every routine today. I am so, so happy."

With all of the excitement and impressive performances in this Saturday's meet, it was hard to miss all of the pink in Rec Hall. This weekend's meet was dedicated to breast cancer and the strength of those who are doing their best to "stick it" to the terrible disease.

"Wearing pink today added another element to us wanting to win," Stauder said. "Those women are fighters, they deserve to see our support and know that we are rooting for them."

For coach Thompson, this meet proved two things about his team: that his team is competitive against the elite teams in the conference and that the rest of this season will be nothing short of exciting.

"Heading into the rest of the season and the Big Ten Tournament, I can't wait to see what these girls will do," Thompson said. "We just need to keep competing how we practice. We have to keep taking charge. When you get a team down you have to keep pounding them and keep them down. That is what it takes to be a national championship team." 

Emma Sibson: Dedication Vaulting Her to Success

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By Gabrielle Richards, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Thirteen years ago, a little girl walked into her first gymnastics class in Victoria, British Columbia. The soft spoken, always smiling Emma Sibson never expected to become completely obsessed with gymnastics.

9703270.jpegWhen Sibson was eight, she realized that going through the motions in a practice facility wasn't going to cut it for her; she wanted to compete. Her family moved to Allen, Texas, where she joined the Dallas based World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA) and began her competitive career.

Sibson was welcomed with open arms; even at such a young age she showed promise to her coaches
.The WOGA girls took a liking to a young Sibson as soon as she walked through the door. The team operated on a big sister/little sister support system, a system that Sibson says paired her with one of the most "influential big sisters she could have asked for." Sibson got to call none other than 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Nastia Liukin "big sister."

"I got to train with Nastia (Liukin) and Carly Patterson," Sibson said. "I remember during the Olympic games staying up super late to watch them on television. It was crazy that I knew them and got to practice with them."

In 2004, Sibson transferred to Zenith Elite Gymnastics Academy in McKinney, Texas, where she would become a level 10 gymnast by 2008. Sibson was competing all across the state of Texas, gracing the podium at several local and regional competitions. From the beginning of her competitive career, the vault has always been her happy place.

"For me, vault is the most empowering event," Sibson said. "In every other event, you get to stick a landing multiple times. On vault, you have one opportunity to stick the landing and score points. That's what I love about it."

Sibson's love for vault helped her continue to impress judges at her level 10 competitions. In 2010, Sibson finished first in vault and floor at the Level 10 Regionals in Texas, where she then qualified for the Junior Olympic Nationals. She won the Junior Olympic Vault title and qualified to the Visa Championships and competed at the Elite Canada tournament in Quebec City, where she placed eighth in the all-around, fifth on floor and third in vault. Sibson was named to the British Columbia gymnastics team where she competed at the 2010 Canada Winter Games in Nova Scotia. Her team walked away with a silver medal, and Sibson returned to the States with a bronze medal in vault.

"Being apart of that team was definitely a high point in my career," Sibson said. "It was such a great experience."


Sibson's dedication to the sport goes without saying. She attended high school at Spring Creek Academy in Plano, Texas, a school designed for competitive athletes, where they only went to class for two and a half hours in the afternoon, giving them off in the morning to train.

After her performance in the Canada Winter Games, Sibson and her coaches had their eyes on the Olympics. But, Sibson's Olympic dreams were cut short when she broke her ankle during her senior year at Spring Creek Academy.

"I realized I wanted to go to the Olympic trials when I was competing for Canada Elite," Sibson said. "Sometimes things just aren't meant to be."

Realizing that she would never be able to grace the Olympic podium, she made it her goal to make the collegiate podium her new home; Sibson signed on to become a Nittany Lion.

"Competing in college has always been a dream of mine," Sibson said. "Penn State was the right place to make that happen."

This season, the freshman Nittany Lion has proven to be a vital component to the women's gymnastics team. Sibson is Penn State's top performer in vault with a high score of 9.950, along with contributing top performances on floor and balance beam. Sibson says that she was able to relax her nerves this season because of the seamless transition she experienced in coming to Penn State.

"My coaches made it so easy for me to go from club competition to competing in the Big Ten," Sibson said. "It is so hard to leave home and I wouldn't have been able to do it without them. Your performance is no longer just for yourself, it's for your team."

Sibson has found her home in Happy Valley on the mat, but also with her teammates. She is known to be a goofball, giving her team some laughs and making the best out of every situation. Her light-hearted attitude became clear when she asked her teammates to help her execute a prank on the men's hockey team.

"At Christmas, the guys kept working so hard on decorating their tree," Sibson said. "I decided that I wanted to steal it from them when they were at practice. So I got a few girls to help me. Their reaction to what happened was totally worth it."

When she isn't thinking about ways to make people laugh, Sibson has her eyes set on the Big Ten tournament and helping her team qualify for nationals.

"I am so grateful for the opportunity to compete for such a great school and great team," Sibson said. "Being able to contribute and be on the mat as a freshman is definitely one of the proudest moments for me so far in my career."

Her team's national goals were solidified last weekend in their performance against No. 8 Nebraska. The girls were just tenths of a point behind the Cornhuskers, which gave them the confidence they needed to keep pushing themselves, day after day in practice.

"Last week opened our eyes to what we can do," Sibson said.  "We can be a top team. I have no doubt about that."

Sibson and the Nittany Lions take on Illinois this Saturday in a double dual with the men's gymnastics team at Rec Hall.

"I have grown up as competitor and as a person since coming to Penn State," Sibson said. "I am so excited to see what the rest of this season will bring." 

Reviewing the Men's and Women's Gymnastics Double Dual

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By Gabrielle Richards, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Saturday's contest at Rec Hall was unique with both Penn State's men's and women's gymnastics teams competing together. As both teams made their way out onto the mat, they engaged the crowd in the infamous "WE ARE" cheer. The women took on the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the men battled it out with the Temple Owls.

Men's Team is Victorious in Contest
9691995.jpegThe Nittany Lions have been consistent across the board when it comes to putting up points. From their season-opener at Army to this Saturday's contest against Temple, the men's gymnastics team has achieved scores in the 420 to 430 range. This weekend was no different; the Nittany Lions bested Temple 431.550 to 401.600.

Head coach Randy Jepson spoke to his team's resilience during the season thus far, as many have had to step up to the plate due to teammates' injuries.

"We have been pretty beat up and injured," said Jepson. "We had to call on guys who may not normally compete in a certain event. They were tested and they stepped up to the plate today."

Coach Jepson believes that part of his team's success is due to the contributions of the unsung heroes.

"We are lucky to have guys like Jeremy Munn and Tristan Duverglas," said Jepson. "They really stepped up today."

Munn is a freshman walk-on who was called on this Saturday to fill spots on the floor and vault. He scored 14.500 points for the Nittany Lions on floor and 14.200 points on the vault. 

Duverglas placed first on vault with 15.500 points, a performance that Jepson says, "you would see in the finals of the World Championships."

Coach Jepson was thoroughly impressed with the performance of sophomore Alexis Torres. Torres won the floor event with a score of 15.300.

"He is very talented," said Jepson of Torres's performance. "Today was the first time I saw him compete the way he has trained. His scores can only go up from here."

And then there is Trevor Howard...
The sophomore has been the most consistent performer for the Nittany Lions. Howard competes in all but one event. He put up big numbers on parallel bars (15.150) and vault (14.800) against Temple this Saturday.

"I love competing in double duals," said Howard. "The girls are always extremely supportive and its great to see all of the fans and my family come out."

When Howard stepped out to compete in his high bar rotation, he was the only gymnast on the mat. In what was a chaotic atmosphere for most of the double dual, Rec Hall was silent as they watched Howard put up 14.550 points on the high bar.

"High bar was definitely my best even today," said Howard. "I have been working really hard on it in practice. To be able to come out today, stick the landing and give the crowd a show was awesome."

But, being the last to compete is a challenge that Howard welcomes with open arms, as he uses that pressure as preparation for National Team tryouts.

"I try to build off these types of settings and set higher goals for myself," said Howard. "Coach Jepson has me go last to help me prepare for those pressure sets."

Rec Hall's competitive setting isn't just for teams, but for siblings, too
Penn State's women's gymnastics' Krystal Welsh was especially excited for Saturday's double dual. She not only got compete in front of her parents, but she had the rare opportunity of sharing the mat with her brother and Temple Owl, Jakob Welsh. 

"I was so excited to see him compete," said Jakob Welsh. "He was the first person I looked for when I walked on the mat. We both made all-around so that makes me really happy."

Krystal Welsh finished second for Penn State, and fourth in the all-around and Jakob Welsh finished first for Temple.

Season best score gives Nittany Lions hope, despite loss to Nebraska
9691998.jpegNo. 23 Penn State's women's gymnastics put up a fight against No. 8 Nebraska this Saturday in the double dual. Despite season best score of 196.150, the Nittany Lions fell short of the Cornhuskers' score of 197.225.

Head Coach Jeff Thompson isn't going to let this tough loss hold his team back from improvement. His coaching staff and team will look at the positives.

"We knew we had our work cut out for us heading into today's meet," said Thompson. "We got off to a great start of vault, but I think we got a little too excited."

The Nittany Lions gave the Cornhuskers a run for their money on vault, especially with the performance of freshman Emma Sibson. Sibson tied Nebraska's Jessie DeZiel with a score of 9.950.

"Today I was focused on staying relaxed," said Sibson. "I did my vault how I do it in practice, which was a personal high for me, but there is always room for improvement."

Penn State was neck and neck with Nebraska in vault, losing 49.400 to 49.150.

Stauder's focus and bringing practice performances to competition
Kassidy Stauder is quickly becoming a household name in Big Ten gymnastics, as she owns her performances in uneven parallel bars and beam. They key to her consistent performances, she says, is her effort to perform her routines in competition exactly how she does in practice. Stauder's numbers this weekend illustrate her dedication to the notion, "practice makes perfect."

"Competing how we practice is becoming a team theme," said Stauder. "I warm up the same way for a meet as I do in practice, which helps keep my performance consistency."

Stauder finished behind Nebraska's DeZiel and Emily Wong in the all-around with 39.350 points.

What's Next?

Coach Thompson is looking forward to the rest of the season, especially after his team's performance against Nebraska. With key meets in the Big Ten coming up, it is imperative for the Nittany Lions to not lose sight of the positive strides made in Saturday's dual.

"We lost events by tenths of a point," said Thompson. "We can find those tenths of a point by doing a few extra hand stands and sticking some more landings. We can only build from the teams performance today."

The gymnastics teams will compete in another double dual next weekend at Rec Hall against Illinois. The Nittany Lions and the Fighting Illini will take the mat on Saturday at 4 p.m. 

Keys to the Meet - Penn State vs. No. 8 Nebraska

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By Samantha DelRosso, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- After a successful weekend at Ohio State, the 23rd-ranked Penn State women's gymnastics team has found the keys to being successful. Trust, starting and finishing well, being consistent, and taking what the team does in practice and applying it to the meets.

Senior all around gymnast Kassidy Stauder and head coach Jeff Thompson know what it takes to be victorious this weekend against No. 8 Nebraska in their first home Big Ten meet of the season.

9624416.jpegEach week, the Nittany Lions have a word of the week that they focus on. The "Word of the Week" this week is trust. Trusting themselves. Trusting each other. Trusting the coaches. Trusting the judges. Trusting their talent.

"[We are trusting ourselves to] go into the meet and [we are] trusting that what we've down in the gym everyday is what we're capable of doing at the meet," Stauder said. "[We are] trusting ourselves to just let it go and let it all out there."

Starting and Finishing Well:
Previously, the team focused on a good start in the first event and a good finish in the last event. Now the team is focusing on starting well in one event and finishing well in that same event. This mindset helped the Lions defeat Ohio State last weekend. The Lions will be kicking off the competition on the vault this weekend against Nebraska.

"What I hope is that we get a great start on vault, but [also] we get off to a great start on every event," Thompson said.

Last weekend, Stauder set a season-high mark on the floor with a 9.775. Stauder said she and the team are working on their consistency, and are continuing to put the whole meet together as a team. The Nittany Lions hit all 24 competitive routines last weekend and hope that they can be consistent and continue this success against Nebraska.

Stauder said the team has done a great job of hitting their routines with good handstands and dismounts and being aggressive in the meets. She said she wants the team to continue this this weekend.

Thompson said the team is looking to build on the confidence that it gained from the road win against Ohio State. The team is still competing for the Big Ten regular season title. If the team continues to be consistent and victorious, they have the chance to fulfill that dream.

"There were so many good things last weekend that we just want to continue that feeling at home, with our crowd behind us. The atmosphere is going to be really fun," Thompson said.

Performing How They Practice
"Go White." That's what the Nittany Lions chant from the side when their teammates are performing. This means, "Go to White Building." The girls vision themselves in the White Building, where they practice, to feel like they are just at another practice, doing another routine, just like they do everyday.

This weekend is a double dual, in which both the women and men's team compete at the same time. The women's and men's teams practice together, so this weekend will be even more similar to practicing in the White Building. The men's gymnastics team will be taking on Temple this weekend.

"We absolutely love double duals because we train with the guys everyday, so it makes us feel even more like we're in White Building," Stauder said. "And it brings a lot more energy and fun to the meet.  I think the crowd really likes it too. They enjoy being able to see both the women and the men compete."

The women's gymnastics team has won three consecutive meets and is looking to continue the winning streak against Nebraska at home. Stauder said using the equipment that the team is used to, having family and fans there, and not having to deal with traveling gives the Nittany Lions an advantage.

The team will again host Nebraska in March during the Big Ten Championships.

"It's really cool because Big Ten [Championships] are going to be here, so it's kind of like a trial run having the Big Ten schools here," Stauder said. 

Stauder Leads Lions in Home Opener

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By Samantha DelRosso, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Three meets into the 2014 season, senior Kassidy Stauder is off to a strong start to her final campaign as a Nittany Lion gymnast.  Stauder led the Nittany Lions to victory in a quad meet against Cornell, Southeast Missouri, and UIC on Saturday, with a career-high all around score of 39.275.

9629045.jpegThis season, Stauder has won the All-Around title and has tied for second with a score of 38.925 in a quad meet earlier this month against Kentucky, Ball State, and West Virginia.  She also owns the team's top scores on balance beam (9.900) and uneven bars (9.875).

But Stauder has not always been the all around gymnast that we see today. She has evolved into an all around gymnast during her time at Penn State. Before coming to Penn State, she had not vaulted at the skill level she vaults at today. 

She began Saturday's competition on the vault and scored a 9.725, only .050 below her career-high. Head coach Jeff Thompson commended the Palmerton, Pa., native for her effort on the vault.

"She didn't do that vault before she got to college and actually, she was pretty terrified of vaulting when she got here. She's worked through that and gotten herself in a position where when we need her, she can step up and give us a score," Thompson said.

After vaulting, Stauder headed to the uneven bars where she scored a career-high 9.875. Her performance on the bars was both the team's highest and the meet's highest score on the uneven bars. On the bars, the "little things" matter. Stauder said the team focused on this in practice before Saturday's meet.

"We took what we did last week in the competition and really focused on the mistakes that we made, like the little details, handstands, pointed toes, feet together, and sticking [the landing]," Stauder said.

In a competition earlier this month against Iowa State, Stauder's score of 9.725 was the third-highest score on uneven bars in the meet.

Stauder, who started gymnastics at age eight, said she felt very confident after completing her routines on Saturday. She noted that she is able to feel how well she did before her score is even announced. She felt most comfortable on both the uneven bars and the balance beam. On the beam, she said she felt, "really calm and excited."

She tied her career-high of 9.900 on the balance beam on Saturday. This was the team and meet's highest score on the beam.

Stauder's final performance of the day was her floor exercise. She was the leadoff for the Nittany Lions and received a score of 9.775. Thompson said she did a great job hitting her routine.

"[I am] super proud of her for being in the all-around tonight; doing such a great job, being the anchor on beam, hitting that floor routine like she did, her bar routine was our highest score. What a great, fun first home meet of her senior year," Thompson said.

Stauder said she will be working on the details and fixing the little things before the team's first Big Ten meet of the season against Michigan State on Saturday. 

Women's Gymnastics Shines in First Home Meet

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By Gabrielle Richards, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As the Nittany Lions met in a huddle on the side of the mat, you knew they meant business. "We Are" echoed off the walls of Rec Hall as Penn State's women's gymnastics team headed toward its first rotation in the quad-meet this past Saturday. Aside from the Nittany Lions, Cornell, Southeast Missouri, and Illinois-Chicago were also in attendance.

9624416.jpegStarting on vault for the Nittany Lions were Lindsay Musgrove, Emma Sibson, Krystal Welsh, Kassidy Stauder, Sidney Sanabria-Robles, and Randi Lau. Sibson had a personal best score of 9.85, taking first place over all in the event. The team finished with an overall vault score of 49.075.

"With our first two meets on the road, our scores weren't what we wanted them to be," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "We took the performances from the last two meets, came out strong and did better."

After a winning performance on the vault, Samantha Musto, Nicole Medvitz, Welsh, Stauder, Lau and Sanabria-Robles made their way to the bars as starters for the Lions. Stauder shined on the bars, as she propelled herself to first place in the event with a score of 9.875. The Nittany Lions claimed first through third place in bar routines. Stauder finished first, followed by Medvitz and Sanabria-Robles, who tied for second with a score of 9.850, followed by Welsh who finished in third place with a score of 9.825. The team finished with an overall bar score of 49.175.

"The girls did a great job today," said Thompson. "If you can get a tenth of a point higher in each routine, it really adds up and the girls came pretty close to doing that today."

Penn State's third event of the evening was beam, where Tina Postiglione, Lau, Medvitz, Musto, Stauder and Sanabria-Robles competed for the Nittany Lions. Penn State claimed first through third place on beam, with Stauder in first, followed by Lau in second and Medvitz in third. The team finished with a final score of 45.925 on beam.

Finally, the Nittany Lions approached the center of Rec Hall to perform their floor routines. Stauder, Medvitz, Sanabria-Robles, Welsh, Lau and Musto. Welsh secured first place with a score of 9.925, followed by Musgrove (9.900), Lau (9.875) and Musto and Sanabria-Robles, who both scored 9.850.  The team scored a 49.400 on the floor.

Coach Thompson's reflection on Saturday's success spoke volumes to the example he believes his team can set for future gymnasts.

"A majority of our fans are between the ages of eight to 14 years old," said Thompson. "These girls are role models for them, which makes them think about their actions on and off the mat. Audience members might not be able to hear what is said on the mat, but they can read body language. Our girls need to have a positive outlook in practice, in the locker room and on the mat."

Kassidy Stauder proved to be the perfect illustration of positivity on Saturday as she claimed the all-around title with a 39.275. Stauder placed first in both bars and beam.

"Stauder is one of those girls who can turn on any switch when you need her to," said Thompson.

Penn State finished with a season-high score of 196.025.

"We are going to use this meet to propel us into Michigan State next weekend," said Thompson. "I am so proud of these girls and I am really looking forward to what this season brings. Their energy was awesome today." 

VIDEO: Meet Preview - at Iowa State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's gymnastics program opens their season on Sunday (Jan. 5) at Iowa State and head coach Jeff Thompson talked with prior to the team leaving for Ames, Iowa.


VIDEO: Meet the Team - Emma Sibson

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's gymnastics program will open their season on Sunday, Jan. 5 at Iowa State and the Blog will be counting down the days until the season opener with special Meet the Team videos with each of the 15 members of the team.

Today, we caught with freshman Emma Sibson, a gymnast who reached the elite level while competing for Zenith Gymnastics. A native of Allen, Texas, Sibson will look to make an impact in the all around for the Nittany Lions. She missed most of 2013 with an injury, but qualified for the Junior Olympics and VISA Championships during her club career.


VIDEO: Meet the Team - Nicole Medvitz

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NIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's gymnastics program will open their season on Sunday,Jan. 5 at Iowa State and the Blog will be counting down the days until the season opener with special Meet the Team videos with each of the 15 members of the team.

Today, we caught with Paramus N.J. native, Nicole Medvitz, who will look to contribute in the all around for the Nittany Lions. A freshman for the Blue and White, Medvitz was a Junior Olympic National Champion on the balance beam in 2011, 2012 and 2013.


Musser Preps for Trip to NCAA Championships

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By Kelsey Detweiler, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - When you ask Sharaya Musser if she ever thought that, after four years of competing as a collegiate gymnast, she'd be ending her senior year with a third trip to the NCAA Championships, she's a bit speechless.

8844643.jpeg"I don't know," laughed Musser. "It's quite the experience."

The senior Nittany Lion leaves State College today en route to her final competition of her collegiate career. After tying for second place in the all-around at the Norman, Okla. Regional two weeks ago, Musser clinched her third-straight championship berth and is headed to Los Angeles, Calif. for three days of competition.

The women's gymnastics championships welcome 12 teams and 12 all-around competitors who are not a part of a qualifying team, as well as individual event finalists. As a team, the Nittany Lions fell just two spots short of a championship berth, finishing fourth at the regional competition.

And while the 22-year-old said that she would like nothing more than for her teammates to enjoy the sunny Los Angeles weather with her, she knows that they're rooting for her all the way.

"It's bittersweet," said Musser. "Obviously I'm proud of myself for qualifying but I really want my team to come with me so that's always a downside to it. But they've been coming into the gym and supporting me through my practices and that has meant a lot to me."

This is the third year in a row that Musser will be competing as an individual at the championships, as she earned 12th in the all-around in 2011 and eighth in 2012. But the senior said that as her final opportunities wind down, she's aiming for a much higher finish.

"The goal is to finish in the top three in the all-around," said Musser. "I've just got to go out there and do my best and do what I've been doing all season. You can't control judges and scores so if you know you did your best but you don't get the scores you think you deserve then you've just got to brush that off and let it go."

In order to do so, Musser said that she has to prepare a bit differently than she might for a mid-season meet or any other competition.

"I've been trying to rest my body as best as I can in order to compete," said Musser. "We're at the end of the season so you've done your routines over and over and over, day in and day out, so it's more of a mental game than it is a physical game once you hit nationals. These past two weeks I've just been doing a lot of visualization and just keeping up with the little things."

Musser's all-around competition will begin on with a semifinal on Friday and the top four individuals from that sessions will advance to compete in the finals on Sunday.

But regardless of what kind of scores or medals Musser brings home, she said that it's nice to look back at the last four years and know that she had fun doing what she really loves to do.   

"It's wonderful seeing all of my hard work paying off."