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A Gymnast’s Empire State of mind

Alyssa Kelly soars to the top with the Pioneers into season’s high point

Meagan Wright, Reporter

Alyssa Kelly performs her routine during the floor exercise at a recent gymnastics meet.
Alyssa Kelly performs her routine during the floor exercise at a recent gymnastics meet.

Master of a 4-inch wide beam and swinging across uneven bars, Sophomore Communication Disorders major Alyssa Kelly pushes her fiery passion to perform towards the Pioneer Gymnastics team’s ongoing success.

Originally from the state of New York, Kelly’s switch to the Lone Star State created new roots in excelling in a sport she has been a part of since the age of six.

In a recent event for TWU, against the University of Pittsburg on Feb. 20, Kelly led the Pioneers with a 9.800 score in the beam rotation and lined up in third for bars with a 9.700 score. The Pioneers reached the post-season’s highest scores and accomplished multiple career highs for other gymnasts. In an interview, Kelly commented: “We had a different mindset: to go in with as much fight and drive as we can.”

Through her performances in the bars and beam events, Kelly’s impressive scores along with her teammates’ efforts, assures the continuing climb for more season and career-high records. Each week, Kelly works to perfect the minor details of her skills from landings to straightening her legs, in order to better improve her scores. Kelly shares: “Everything I do is for my team. Every routine, every up and down, everything I do is for them.”

Alongside her driven passion for the mat, Kelly devotes her studies to deaf education with inspired intentions of joining the field of Audiology. “In high school, I took sign language and loved it,” Kelly exclaimed. “It relates to my family because my sister has problems with hearing, so she has been to an Audiologist her whole life.” Kelly has received the Midwest Independent Conference (MIC) scholar recognition for maintaining a 3.5 or higher GPA.

TWU became the obvious choice for Kelly following her initial visit and into her second year on the team. Kelly explained: “It just felt like home the minute I stepped on campus. The team is like a family; it is a family away from family. Before I came here I was super shy. [My team] definitely brought that out of me and made me more confident.”

When asked about her change from the shores of Long Island to the unique Texan culture, Kelly responded: “Before I got here, I was like ‘I am never going to like country music or wear a pair of cowboy boots.’ But last year my roommates got me into country music, I own a pair of cowboy boots and I love two-stepping.”

Kelly continues into the competing season with strong beliefs in the Pioneers’ ability in reaching their season’s goals of winning the MIC meet as well as conquering Nationals. She added: “I believe we will get there. We’re just sticking together, working really hard, and focusing on all of those details to get there.”

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