Taylor Ann Wilson is a national champion.
The Centenary sophomore is still getting used to it.
"Hearing you say that is just crazy. I just, I can't believe it. It's still all very new."
Wilson took first place in bars at the USA Gymnastics Women's Collegiate National Championship, but the moment almost didn't happen after a Covid diagnosis earlier this year presented several challenges, "Gaining my strength back and gaining my skills back because I was out for like two weeks to a month from gymnastics... so having to get all my skills back and my training and my endurance and strength back was like really hard. It took some time and I had to be patient with myself even when I didn't want to be."
Wilson eventually recovered, but head coach Jackie Fain says the winter storm in February also affected her practice time, "She wasn't even in lineups this year because of that situation and then we had an athlete get injured and Taylor was ready. Like she raised her hand and she said, 'coach, put me in, I'm ready. I'm going to do it.' And she worked extremely hard to get there."
The championship puts a nice bow on an otherwise challenging year and Wilson says she's grateful for the experience with her teammates, "Although it's been crazy, it's been a good crazy... I think because all of the hardships that we've gone through, like with the Covid and meets canceled and everything being crazy, it's just made us all the more thankful for everything that we have."
Wilson has a valuable piece of hardware to take care of now and doesn't plan to flaunt it around her neck, "No, it kind of stays on my desk right now, which is kind of funny. I want to go get a shadowbox and put the pictures in it and stuff so we'll see how that goes. No, I don't walk around with it. I'm too afraid that I'm going to break it."