Gym Dogs Sign Four For 2014
ATHENS -- Georgia head gymnastics coach Danna Durante announced on Thursday 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.
"As a class overall I think it's a nice mix of power and graceful style," Durante said. "It's also interesting because they are from all across the country. They will certainly add to our program significantly when they come in next fall. The best part about it is they are not only great gymnasts, but they're great people. We're looking forward to getting each of them here."
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, and there have been several Olympic champions coming out of that program," Durante said. "She has beautiful lines, great power, big vaults, and she has a very unique still. Ashlyn is very well rounded as a gymnast, and she's excited to come to Athens and experience college life. For her to come be a part of a small, college town and a university setting, 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 gymnastics is easy for her," Durante said. "She doesn't have to work hard to make her gymnastics look so easy. I'm looking forward to watching her develop here. She also has a high level of difficulty on all four events. She's a very well-balanced gymnast across the board. Kiera is just a great kid. She's shy and quiet, but her gymnastics doesn't look shy and quiet."
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.
"It's exciting to have someone from right here in Athens," Durante said. "It's not always the case where you get a hometown athlete. We are excited to have her, and she just continues to get better and better. I didn't know a lot about her coming in, but I watched her in the summer and have seen her a few times since, and she just continues to improve. 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 did elite for a while," Durante said. "She's focused on Level 10 recently 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 has a high skill level and she loves gymnastics, so that will be exciting to coach."
QUOTES FROM DANNA DURANTE
On the overall class:
"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."
On Ashlyn Broussard:
"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."
On Kiera Brown:
"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."
On Morgan Reynolds:
"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."
On Rachel Schick:
"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."
|| KIERA BROWN
- 2012 regional vault champion
- 2012 National Invitational Tournament bars champion and 4th in the all-around
- 2012 Atlanta Crown Invitational vault champion, bars Champion, beam champion and all-around champion
- 2011 Level 10 state bars champion, 2nd on floor and the all-around
- 2011 regional bars champion
- 2011 J.O. National Team member, finishing 3rd in the all-around
- Region 7 All-Stars Member
|| ASHLYN BROUSSARD
- Trains at WOGA (World Olympic Gymnastics Academy) in Plano, Texas, under Laurent Landi and Cecile Canqueteau-Landi
- Three-time qualifier to Level 10 JO National Championships and Regional All-Around Champion
- 2012 JO Nationals, 8th All-Around, third on beam
- 2012 Level 10 Regional All-Around Champion
- 2012 Level 10 Texas State Beam Champion, 2nd All-Around, second on vault
- 2011 JO Nationals, 10th All-Around, third on bars, fifth on floor
- 2011 Level 10 Regional Vault, Beam and Floor Champion, 2nd All-Around
- 2011 Level 10 Texas State, 4th All-Around, second on vault and third on beam
- 2010 JO Nationals, 10th All-Around, fourth on bars
- 2010 Level 10 Regional Bars Champion
|| MORGAN REYNOLDS
- Trains at Georgia Elite Gymnastics in Athens, Ga., under Pete and Kim Arenas
- 2012 J.O. State All Around, Bars, and Vault Champion
- 2012 highest all around score at state, all age groups levels 9-10
- Second place all around at Regional Championships 2011 and 2012
- 2011 J.O. Level 10 State All Around Champion
|| RACHEL SCHICK
- Trains at Charter Oak Gymnastics in Covina, Calif., under Beth Kline-Rybacki and Stephen Rybacki
- Won floor at 2011 San Diego Classic
- Vault champion at 2011 WOGA Classic
- Placed fifth on vault, eighth on bars and 11th in the all-around at 2011 J.O. Nationals
- Finished third on vault, fourth on bars, beam and all-around at 2011 regionals
- Won beam, second all-around, third vault and floor at 2011 state championships
- Won floor and all-around, second vault and beam at the SCEGA's California Classic in 2010
- At 2010 state championships won vault, second beam and finished fourth all-around and at regionals placed second on vault, fifth on floor