Nov. 16, 2012
ATHENS -- Georgia head gymnastics coach Danna Durante announced on Friday the signing of four prospects to national letters of intent to attend UGA and compete for the Gym Dogs. Ashlyn Broussard of Plano, Texas, Kiera Brown of Newport News, Va., Morgan Reynolds of Athens, Ga., and Rachel Schick of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., will begin competing for the Gym Dogs in 2014.
"Overall I believe this 2013 class brings a strong mix of power and grace. These newest Gym Dogs come from all across the country, and they will contribute to our program and compete immediately. They have tremendous potential for improvement throughout their four years in our program, and the best part is they are not only great gymnasts, but they're outstanding people. We're looking forward to their arrival next summer."
Broussard trains at World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA) in Plano, Texas. She is a three-time qualifier to the Level 10 J.O. National Championships. She placed eighth in the all-around and third on beam at 2012 J.O. Nationals and was the regional all-around champion. Broussard also placed first on beam, second in the all-around and second on vault at the state championship meet. She was also the Level 10 regional vault, beam and floor champion in 2011 and placed third on bars and fifth on floor at J.O. Nationals.
"Ashyln comes from WOGA, a well-respected, successful program, having developed several Olympic champions. She has beautiful lines, great power and a unique style. Ashlyn is a well-rounded gymnast. She's excited to come to Athens and experience the adventure of a small college town and a university setting, and that will be exciting for her from a growth perspective."
Brown, who trains at World Class Gymnastics in Newport News, Va., was the 2012 regional vault champion, and she also placed first on bars and third in the all-around at the state championships. Brown was a 2011 J.O. National Team member and took third in the all-around and was the Level 10 state champion on bars, while finishing second on floor and the all-around. The 2011 regional champion on bars, she also was a member of the Region 7 All-Stars.
"Kiera is extremely powerful and a natural athlete. She has the gift of making difficult skills seem effortless. I'm looking forward to watching her continue to develop while at UGA. She has a high level of difficulty on all four events. She, too, is balanced gymnast across the board. Kiera may seem quiet and a bit shy, but once she steps on the floor, whether at practice or for a meet, her shyness takes a back seat and her performance draws everyone in."
Reynolds trains at Georgia Elite Gymnastics under Pete and Kim Arenas and was the 2012 J.O. Level 10 state all-around, bars and vault champion. She also had the highest all-around score at the state championships for all age groups in levels nine and 10. In addition, Reynolds took the 2011 all-around state title and claimed second place in the all-around at the regional championships in 2011 and 2012.
"Morgan is from right here in Athens, and we are thrilled to have a hometown gymnast in this class. She just continues to get better and better. I've greatly enjoyed watching her continue to improve even recently through the summer and fall. Her gymnastics is phenomenal, but the one thing I love about Morgan is that her work ethic can't be beat. If there's an empty piece of equipment, she's going to get on it. She's incredibly passionate about gymnastics, the Gym Dogs and the University of Georgia."
Schick, who trains at Charter Oak Gymnastics in Covina, Calif., won beam and placed second in the all-around and third on vault and floor at the 2011 state championships, then came in third on vault, fourth on bars, beam and the all-around at the regional meet. She also won floor at the San Diego Classic and won vault at the WOGA Classic. Schick was also fifth on vault, eighth on bars and 11th in the all-around at J.O. Nationals. She won floor and the all-around at SCEGA's California Classic in 2010 and won vault at the state championships.
"Rachel has had a great Level 10 career and competed elite for a time. She's focused on Level 10 now and has continued to improve her skills. We're really excited about her passion for gymnastics and for Georgia. She's committed to doing whatever it takes to continue to build this as a championship program. Rachel already has a high skill level and with her love of gymnastics, work ethic and her desire to continually improve, it will be exciting to coach her."