When Daisy Todd was 2 years old, she used to do cartwheels around her kitchen. That’s when her parents decided to put her in gymnastics.
“I tried other sports like soccer, but ultimately, I loved gymnastics from the start,” Todd said.
Before she competed in a college meet, Todd had already earned several accolades. She was Maryland’s Most Outstanding Gymnast in her junior year of high school and won state championships in her first three years of high school.
“I don’t think I have the natural talent that a lot of people do,” Todd said. “I’ve had to work hard since I was super little.”
The freshman all-around has immediately continued her success at Temple. Todd earned back-to-back Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week honors on Jan. 24 and Jan. 31, and her team-high point total of 38.975 at the Owls’ quad meet at West Virginia University on Jan. 29 helped the Owls break their program record by scoring a 193.625.
Todd’s score helped her earn a third-place finish and set the fourth-highest individual all-around score in program history. Her average all-around score of 38.735 is second in the conference.
The Owls beat last week’s new program record with a 193.95 to win Saturday’s Ken Anderson Memorial Invitational at McGonigle Hall. Todd set season highs on the floor and vault and tied with West Chester University senior all-around Majesta Valentine for the lead on bars.
“She’s been a very strong competitor,” coach Umme Salim-Beasley said. “She’s very even-keeled [and] always steady. She has an amazing work ethic that the rest of the team can see and model.”
Todd competed under USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame coach Kelli Hill in high school at her gymnastics club: Hill’s Gymnastics in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Hill has coached gymnasts who attained international success, like three-time Olympian Dominique Dawes and 2000 bronze medalist Elise Ray.
Salim-Beasley was a two-time national qualifier under Hill before her career at West Virginia University from 1995-98. Salim-Beasley said she has known Todd since she was a freshman in high school and Todd said the two share a bond through their former coach.
“[Hill] and my other coaches really pushed me to succeed for myself,” Todd said. “They saw that I could push myself on my own, and they just supported me all through competition and recruiting.”
Even as Todd continues adding accolades to her resume, her coach said her drive to improve is still strong. Todd’s next goal is scoring higher than 39 points.
“It’s very easy when you’re getting recognition to lose sight and focus on what got you there,” Salim-Beasley said. “We as coaches just try to keep her level-headed and keep her in a mindset of continuing on her current pace.”
Varun Sivakumar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.