Kyte Crigger
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Stamina to Stand! Crigger Vies For Team USA Spot

| By: Kyte Crigger

Junior Kyte Crigger is one of two members of Cal men’s gymnastics who shares his summer experience to represent Team USA; previously featured, Aaron Mah focused on a spot for the Canadian National Team, which he earned.

After a setback with a meniscus surgery during the beginning of this past season, I had to sit out the first couple of competitions. As I slowly started to get back, I stuck to the training plan and trusted, not only in my body, but also the process. I knew that with this setback I would have to work harder and smarter than anyone else in order to achieve my goals of becoming an All-American. This paid off the moment I was called up to the podium after placing fifth on the floor exercise at the 2018 NCAA Championships. This achievement made me hungrier and motivated me to excel at an even higher level of gymnastics
 
Therefore, this summer I decided to stay in Berkeley and commit to training for the U.S. Qualifier, in hopes to be able to compete in the 2018 US National Championships. My motivation to qualify to this competition was not only a step toward my dream of making the U.S. National Team. This was also a chance for me elevate my gymnastics career, which will most likely end when I graduate college in two years.
 
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The first thing that I had to do was compete at the US qualifier competition at the OTC in Colorado Springs during the mid-July. Fortunately, my performance allowed me to advance to the U.S. National Championships, which will be held on Aug. 16 in Boston, for a spot on the U.S. National Team.
 
Training routines for competitions in the summer are a bit different than during the normal year in the NCAA. It is hard to stay motivated with the rest of the team upgrading and working skills while only a few people are training routines. Sometimes I want to train skills and upgrade my routines but I have to stick to a strict training plan that demands routines almost every day along with multiple inter-squads in order to prepare me for the qualifier and championships.
 
During NCAA season, I trained all six events but only competed a couple at a time during competitions. I competed floor, rings, vault, and parallel bars on and off throughout the last half of season when my knee was healthy again.
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I have not competed all-around since my senior year in high school. During the past two years, I have only competed in a select few events per competition and now that I am training and competing in all six events it is a bit more challenging.
 
Training all-around and competing it are two completely different levels. Competing all-around at our level is not only physically taxing on our bodies, but it is also mentally draining. Therefore, now that I am seriously training and competing all-around for U.S. Championships, it takes a lot more mental focus, while also proactively giving my body time to rest, recover, and rehabilitate to prevent injuries. On top of this, competing all-around requires more stamina which has been implemented into my training plan. It is challenging but I keep reminding myself to enjoy the struggle and trust in the process.
 
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So far, my journey this summer has been amazing. While competing in Colorado, I got to connect with some of my friends who are part of other college teams and are on the same path as I am. I also got to reconnect with former Cal men's gymnastics head coach Brett McClure and is now the High-Performance Director of USA Men's Gymnastics. As U.S. Championships is coming up tomorrow, I am excited to perform and earn all that I have been training for this summer.
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