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First-year gymnast competes for team

Bria Northrop knew at age four that she was born for gymnastics, but it was not until she started jumping off their furniture that her parents gave in and put her in classes.

Now fifteen years later, First-year Nursing Major Northop from Shawnee, Kansas competes in all four gymnastic events for TWU.

For her first collegiate season, Northop says there are a lot of new experiences, but that she is adjusting quickly.

“It is so much different than club, which is what we compete in during high school, because club is all individual and college is all about the team,” said Northop. “Everything that we are doing, when we are competing, we are doing for the team. It is no longer only about yourself, it is to make the team the best.”

Northop explained how it was hard for her to find motivation for competing for a team.

“At first, competing on a team was different,” Northop said. “But I found out that I could do it for myself and my team. I want to push myself to do the best I can, which pushes the team to do the best they can.”

Another adjustment Northop noted was the increase in competitions.

“In club, we would maybe do seven meets a season and those were all spread out,” Northop said. “This year we are competing every weekend for thirteen weeks.”

Northop was quick to mention that she did not want to label these things as a struggle, but simply as new experiences.

During the TWU Tri-meet on Feb. 11, Northop said was their season high and that she hoped that the team can stay on that level and improve.

When asked how the season was going, Northop stated: “So far, so good. Especially with the team, we are continuing to improve on everything. When one person strives to do their best, it makes the team strive to be their best. Which makes me excited for the rest of the season.”

Even though she competes in vault, beam, floor and bars, Northop says floor is her favorite event.

“My personality fits more with floor,” said Northop. “I love coming in everyday and practicing it, and especially competing it because you can look at the crowd and get them involved.”

Northop has two sisters who also participated in gymnastics, but left the sport to compete in cheer. She was the only one who stuck with it, sayings she knew gymnastics was the right sport for her.

“Gymnastics has always been a big part of me,” Northop said. “I am just blessed that the coaches and TWU have allowed me to be here and participate. Especially in such a supportive school and program.”

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