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Senior Profile: Taryn Saunders


Describe what it means to be a senior captain (part of the leadership council).
Being a part of TLC means working together with a great group of girls to lead the team by example, taking responsibility, and choosing our battles.

With the graduation of three seniors and addition of five freshmen, what is the team’s chemistry like this season?
There’s strong leadership throughout and we all get along really well this year. The underclassmen bring a huge personality to the team. Our class has had a large impact since we were freshmen, and I see the same type of thing happening with our freshmen class this year.

What are your goals for this season?
Lead by example, compete with confidence, and enjoy my senior year to the fullest.

Which competition are you most looking forward to this season?

What is your most memorable moment with the W&M gymnastics team?
USAG’s my sophomore year. We came in a close third place to the first two teams who tied. It was an incredible feeling of team accomplishment as well as a really enjoyable week-long trip.

What is your favorite event and why?
Bars. I loved competing and learning new skills on this event. It comes much more naturally to me than the others.

What is your least favorite event and why?
Vault. I get bored doing just one skill and it’s just always been my weakest event.

What has been your proudest moment competing in gymnastics?
Earning a scholarship this year. It was better than winning a medal or getting a high score, because it meant that all my hard work had been recognized and being on this team is more than having the most talent.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My mom always tells me: if at the end of the day you’ve done your best, that’s all anyone can ask of you.

What does Tribe Pride mean to you?
Tribe Pride means being a part of a team and representing the school by doing your part to the best of your ability, as well as supporting other athletes at their events.

Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions?
Before we march out I always give “victory” to which includes putting glitter on each girl’s Tribe tattoo and saying a few words for good luck.

Who has had the biggest impact on your gymnastics career?
My parents. They have never forced me to do it, it’s been my choice from day one, but they are always encouraging and my biggest fans.

What is something interesting about you that few people know?
I can ride a unicycle.

What is your favorite spot on Campus?
The Caf

What has been your favorite road trip while competing at W&M?
I have two favorites. On the way to Penn State, our bus broke down for 2 hours but we had a really great time laughing and playing with Coretta. We also got snowed in at WVU and ended up walking to the Sheetz for every meal and eating ChupaChups (lollypops) in the hotel lobby. I think both trips say a lot about how close we are and how much we truly enjoy each other’s company no matter what the circumstances may be.

What do you think you’ll miss most about your experience with gymnastics at W&M after you graduate?
Living close to my team. I love having people around all the time and if I’m bored or need anything I just walk to one of my teammates apartments since they’re all a 2-minute walk away.

After you complete your collegiate gymnastics career, what would you like to do?
Next year I plan on working as an EMT in preparation for applying to PA school.

What is your favorite …
Class at W&M: Adventure Games
Restaurant: Berrybody
Actor/Actress: Kristin Wiig
Musical Artist: Taylor Swift, but I also love Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”
Quote/Saying: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou

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