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Julia Durso competed on behalf of Guilford gymnastics as a senior this season. Julia performed a solid floor routine at the SCC Championship on her way to placing 16th in the all-around at the meet. (Photo courtesy of Julia Durso )
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One of Julia Durso’s favorite aspects of gymnastics is that there is always a new skill to learn. Julia has learned a lot since she first took up the sport at age two. This winter, Julia used her years of experience to her advantage by representing Guilford gymnastics as a senior.
Julia competed for the Indians while training and traveling with the gymnastics squad at Hand. At the end of the season, she earned a 16th-place finish in the all-around at the Southern Connecticut Conference Championship by totaling a score of 29.65. On the year, Julia posted season-best totals of 8.6 on floor, 8.25 for the vault, 7.9 on beam, and a 6.4 on bars to go with her top all-around score of 30.0.
“I always found gymnastics really interesting. There’s always something to learn, and it kept me on my feet,” says Julia. “[At Campbell’s Gymnastics in Clinton], we focused on a lot of strength training and, because of that, I’ve gotten better at the floor, and it’s been my main event that I’ve excelled at. I just love performing it and getting into the dance.”
Julia felt proud to raise the profile of Guilford gymnastics by competing for her hometown high school. Along the way, she formed strong connections with a group of gymnasts just one town down the road.
“I was honored to represent Guilford. I helped let people around school know about the team, and we got people to come out and show support as the season went on,” Julia says. “I loved being with the Hand team. I did gymnastics when I was younger with a majority of them. I got to bond with them and really enjoyed it.”
Julia has dealt with her fair share of injuries throughout her career. However, those setbacks simply drove her to work even harder to make up for lost time.
“I’ve had a lot of injuries, but they made me better and want to catch up to people after I missed time,” says Julia. “That really began to drive me to do better after a while.”
It took a little while for Julia to find her footing on the floor during the recent season. However, all of the trial and error was worth it for Julia, who performed one of her best routines under the bright lights at the SCC Championship.
“In the beginning of the year, it was tough, because I didn’t understand my floor routine well,” Julia says. “I scored one of my highest all-around placements at SCCs this year. I was very nervous at that meet, because I didn’t feel good the week before, but my coach was with me and supporting me.”
Hand’s Head Coach Kelly Smith says that Julia did a great job of adapting on the fly in spite of her injuries. Smith was happy to see Julia flourish on the floor at the SCC meet, while also making some solid strides on the beam this year.
“Julia had previously had some injuries and, at first, struggled to regain her skills in the gym. But in competition, she always turned it on, especially in championships like SCCs,” says Smith. “Julia was hoping to add in some difficult skills, but her injuries made it difficult for her to do so. Instead, she worked the skills she could to compete them with less deductions. Her best event was floor, but she also had some great consistency in beam.”
Looking to her future in gymnastics, Julia says she’s thinking about stepping into the other end of the equation by becoming a coach one day.
“I’ve worked at a gym, coaching girls, and I love coaching,” says Julia. “I would love to coach as a side job in college, because I love helping the younger girls.”
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