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02/11/2023 08:15 AM

Pagliuco’s Passion for Gymnastics Vaults into Success with Valley

Sophomore Corina Pagliuco has become a solid and well-rounded performer in all events this winter for the Valley Regional gymnastics team. Photo courtesy of Corina Pagliuco

From her young beginnings with the sport, Corina Pagliuco’s lone love athletically has always been gymnastics. And it is that affection that has carried her through any trepidation, no matter what event she tackles.

The Valley Regional sophomore started the sport between the ages of 4 and 5. After coming into a Warriors’ squad that was senior-laden last year as a freshman and fighting back from an ankle injury, Corina has come back as an all-event threat for Valley this winter, scoring high across the board for the Warriors.

“I have always been flexible, and I just love the commitment the sport requires,” says Corina. “I also like the fear factor of each event, but it is an adrenaline rush when you overcome it. Beam has always been my best event. I have been able to do great things and score there. I am also able to keep good form, which is key to getting high scores. My coaches have also helped me by listening to them.”

When looking at each of the events, Corina conveys that they each have their own challenges and fun moments and movements. Yet on a more cerebral level, each competition requires its own unique mental preparation.

“I love tumbling for the floor because you have to put every ounce of energy into it, and it is powerful when you stick the landing,” Corina says. “I struggle on bars a bit, but I love the feeling of flying through the air, and vault is great, too. There is different thinking for each event. It is about overcoming the fear of the floor; on bars, you have to think about dealing with a lot of shapes, and the vault is about a lot of power. You need to change your mentality for each event.”

Speaking more to her toughest time, Corina notes that the bars arguably require the most focus throughout the exercise, though it makes it all that more rewarding when she comes through on the other side of it.

“Bars are, of course, the number one most difficult event for me because you need to zone in on making all the shapes,” Corina says. “When you dismount and twist, you need to use every part of your body. It is a lot to handle, but it is fun when you get through it.”

During competition for her club team away from Valley, Corina carved out a high mark for herself on the beam. Still, when speaking about her Warriors’ squad, they have always been with her every step of the way, including through her freshman year injury.

“I scored a 9.5 on beam this year, which is a tough score to get,” says Corina. “I hurt my ankle last year, and I was super proud to come back from it, and the whole team was there for me. I knew it would all be worth it to get back from the injury and get back to that addicting feeling of sticking landings.”

Speaking furthermore to the camaraderie of her Valley club, Corina adds that all of the girls are driven by a shared experience of fighting through fears and putting their best foot forward.

“We had a lot of seniors last year, and now we have a lot of freshmen this season,” says Corina. “Everyone is together and learning how to overcome their fears for events. Everyone is there to try their absolute best and to help make the team better.”

Warriors’ Head Coach Monica Bauer feels Corina eats, sleeps, and breathes gymnastics—leading the way to great prominence as an athlete and even greater proficiency as a teammate to others.

“Corina is one of the easiest gymnasts to work with. She has such a positive attitude, is very outgoing, always happy, and coaching her is a pleasure,” says Bauer. “She is also on the level 7 team at Flip Flop Gymnastics. Corina works out year-round with her club team, which gives her a lot of experience and a competitive edge toward her high school gymnastics competitions. Corina is dedicated to her training and works hard during her practices. She has good leadership skills and helps motivate and encourage her Valley teammates. We are looking forward to a successful rest of the season.”

As she looks forward to the second half of her high school career, Corina will look to challenge herself with higher-level courses in the classroom. When focusing in on the postseason push this campaign with the Warriors, she and each of her teammates is zoned in on pushing towards individual targets.

“All of the time management through school and gymnastics taught me how to be a good student. Next year, I am planning on taking advanced placement courses,” Corina says. “In the beginning of a season, your main goal is to stay clean and keep your scores where you want them. For me, I am working on my connections on beam and giants on bars. Everyone on this team has their own goals they want to accomplish.”