“I’m way more comfortable,” Gardner said. “Last year was my first year starting, and it was rough, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity. A lot of adversity I fought through, and I feel like I did a really good job of never giving up, never giving up on myself and my teammates. I feel my teammates recognized that, and my coaches recognized that, and I feel like that will help me.”
Moving on are two cheerleader uniforms that are virtually identical, which, like, wtf guys, way to magnify my mistakes. So that we don't have a mirror championship for the entire girls' bracket, I'm placing the two cheer outfits against each other. Sleeves, or no sleeves: pick one.
Use: A carryover uni used by members of the team still around from the 2007 postseason..
How They Got Here: Defeated 5th-seed Syncro Skating; 1st seed Rowing, and 2nd seed Swimming&Diving. First Worn: The gym mice change up outfits so fast it's hard to keep track, but these beauties were introduced for the 2007 Big Ten Championships. Wings Factor: Among the team's extensive wardrobe, these have the closest thing to wings and stripes, but it's not enough to count - 0/3. Claim to Fame: These are the unis worn for the Big Ten Title Sweep of 2007. The ladies moved on to the Championships, but failed to make the Super Six.
Softball - white (Gallery) I'm Wearing White Because Me and that Big Ten Trophy are About to be Wed Champ
Use: One of four basic kits, the lesser worn white version (the girls have a pullover with no piping that gets more use).
How They Got Here: Outhustled 6th seed Lacrosse, took out 7th seed Soccer, and bested 1st seed and Misopofavorite Volleyball by one vote. First Worn: The basic whites for much of softball history are the pullovers. It seems, though I would love a doublecheck on this, that these classy whites didn't appear until this year (replacing white alts that were barely different from plainer version still worn with blue pants), although the blue button-down alts were around in the Nike age. Wings Factor: Like baseball, the softball gals have the wings and stripes worked into their catching helmets, which works better with the hockey-style masks they use nowadays - 1/3. Claim to Fame: Who cares what you're wearing on Main Street or in Tuscaloose -- it's what you wear from ear to ear, and not from head to toe that matters, as evidenced by the fact that the first major uniform change since 1978 didn't at all change the stormin' success of Michigan's cheery diamond gals.
Cheerleading - tanktop Daisy Looks Crazy in Maize-y Champ (Examples: here, here, and a completely unrelated moment of zen) Use: Two of four looks for the cheer team -- the other two are a blue uni and a white one, both redesigned recently.
Unfortunately, the cheer team is in the midst of re-doing its website, so I don't have the same wealth of info to draw on from the athletic site. That being said, I have an e-mail in with the Cheer Coach, so if I get some more info, I'll update the post this week.