If you want to know anything about tumbling and floor exercise routines in gymnastics, ask Samantha Silver.
During her tenure at Seymour, Silver has excelled on the floor — her favorite event.
“Your routine has to be under 1:30, or you get a deduction,” she said. “My freshman and sophomore years I had a routine that was around a minute. But now, since I’m doing harder skills my routine is longer, so I can include everything. It’s nice to have a longer routine now.”
On the floor, gymnasts get more points with diverse skill sets.
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“You also get points for difficulty,” Silver said. “You really have to consider a lot of things because you are getting scored on execution, which is pointing your toes straight on, but you are also getting scored for creativity. If you do a pass differently than most girls do you would get creativity points, but you also have to think about difficulty. You have to think about all those things with your requirements, and you have to make your routine fit you.”
Silver switches up her routines during meets.
“The routines vary because there are certain requirements in your routine, but you can also add certain things to get bonus points,” Silver said. “You may get deducted for not pointing your toes on a pass, but you can get those points back if you do a certain jump in your routine. So that is why all the routines look a lot different because you may choose to do some things differently for bonus points.”
When she was about 3 years old, Silver started participating in gymnastics at Girls Inc.
“My mom actually put me in a gymnastics class when I was really little, with one of my friends,” Silver said. “Then I eventually moved up to the pre-team, and I moved up to the team probably around first grade.”
Silver said she competed until sixth grade, and then she decided to devote more time to volleyball.
She played volleyball and ran track in middle school and competed in all three sports her freshman year, then concentrated on gymnastics full time the past three years.
The first three years on the team she did vault, bars and floor. This season she concentrated on vault and floor.
Throughout the season, Silver was scoring well in both events until she suffered an ankle injury doing vault in the Columbus North meet Feb. 3. Since then, she has concentrated on the floor exercise.
“Floor is my favorite event, but I did enjoy vault too, and I was actually working on a new vault which is a front handspring full. I was working on that, but I hadn’t landed one yet, but I had been really close,” Silver said. “I wanted to start getting experience of competing with it in a meet, and when I actually landed it I would be prepared for meets like the sectional. I wouldn’t be nervous doing it the first time.”
She said decided to try her new vault against Columbus. On her first try she was really close to landing it, and when she attempted it on her second try her foot landed on the side of the mat and rolled it inward, and she suffered the ankle sprain.
Competing at the club level, when she was young, was a valuable experience for Silver because she was able to do routines and be judged and compete in front of crowds.
“Gymnastics is one of the hardest sports to start when you’re older considering that you’re taller, and you’re not used to moving upside down as much, but if you’ve done it when you were younger, then you know the feeling,” Silver said. “It’s hard to learn gymnastics form. It sounds easy just to learn how to straighten your arms and point your toes, but it’s something you have to get in the habit of because you can’t be thinking about that when you’re twisting in the air.
“You have to be thinking about the skills that you want to do and having good form, which comes natural from a lot of practice.”
Parents: Steve and Shannan Silver
Sports: Gymnastics, four years
Athletic highlights: State team qualifier, team record 2012, 9.0 club 2014, 2015
Organizations: National Honor Society, band, choir, 4H, NWYO
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese
Favorite TV shows: “Dance Moms”
Favorite singer/musician: Foster The People
Favorite movie: “Juno”
Favorite athlete: Aly Raisman
Favorite team: Florida Gators gymnastics
Favorite book: “Heart to Heart” by Lurlene McDaniel
Favorite quote: “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”