A Gymnastics Success - Sharaya Musser
Feb. 4, 2011
By Kaitlyn Knopp, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Whipping her hands up, her body follows the fluid motion, taking her into a backhand spring then double aerial, every flip at least three feet off the beam, her feet only stopping a foot from the end as she stands up erect and poised.
Musser's career as a Penn State women's gymnast started in 2010 as a freshman competitor, where she began showing coaches and fans her skills, with her lowest score the entire season being a superb 9.600 on the floor.
"I want to be a gymnast that people can look up to," Musser said after her beam workout, standing in her metallic blue practice uniform calmly as other girls continued their practice behind her.
Only 5-foot 2-inches tall, the true height of Musser's accomplishments and confidence can be seen in her bright personality and cool poise while competing.
"What's been motivating me to do better is my team," Musser said. "Having new coaches has been a challenge, but it's been great, and it's a great change."
Musser's top performance in the past includes averaging a 9.835 on the vault in 15 meets, 9.830 on bars in 14 meets, 9.690 on the beam in 13 meets, 9.600 on floor in eight meets and 39.066 in the all-around at eight meets during her freshman season.
With so much talent to offer from this Colorado Springs, Colo. native, there were plenty of options for schools, though Musser said she knew Penn State was her match.
"It was kind of an easy decision for me," Musser said, resting her hands on her hips. "I've wanted to come here ever since I was a little girl ... I could never picture myself at any other college."
Musser's father and uncle were part of the reason for this Musser said, as they both spent time in Happy Valley as students at Penn State. Combining gymnastics with her schooling was obvious for Musser, as she has been doing gymnastics since she was 3-years-old.
In the current season, Musser has continued to shine, holding the highest averages on the team. In the latest meet versus N.C. State, she scored a 9.900 on the vault, and consistent 9.8+ on all other events.
"I just have a passion for gymnastics," Musser said. "I can't picture my life without."
Watching her form on the beam, her body twisting and leaping, 17 plus years of experience and a seeming innate knowledge of what to do makes her performance seem flawless. She is always trying to work harder though, pushing herself to be the best Nittany Lion performer.
"I guess you could say I bleed blue and white," Musser said with a laugh.
Musser also said she wants to be a team leader, and has high expectations for the team this year with expectations such as winning the Big Ten competitions and being a Top Six competitor. She also hopes for the Penn State community to become more involved with the sport.
"I definitely want to say come and support us," Musser said. "We're trying to get more fans and people to come. We appreciate everything and everyone who attends."