Morgan Reynolds is bringing her own kind of crazy to the Georgia gymnastics team for the 2014 season.
John Kelley/UGA Sports Communications
Freshman Morgan Reynolds performs a floor routine during the Gym Dogs' Sneak Peak event on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 in Athens, Ga.
‚ÄúShe‚Äôs just very comfortable in her own skin is probably the best way for me to say that,‚Äù Georgia coach Danna Durante said about the freshman.
Although Reynolds admitted she can be shy at first, the Athens native has plenty of experience with Gym Dogs meets and will be comfortable performing in front of the home crowd when the team‚Äôs first home meet rolls around on Jan. 17.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve always been to Gym Dog meets and I know how much support and how many fans there are,‚Äù Reynolds said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm really excited to be able to perform in front of that many people and fans.‚Äù
Reynolds attended Athens Christian School and trained at Georgia Elite Gymnastics in Athens. Her coach at Georgia Elite was Kim Arnold Arenas, a four-year All-American Gym Dog in the late 1990s.
When it came time to choose a college, Reynolds didn‚Äôt need Arenas to help her decide with her local ties pushing her to the red and black. However, Arenas did provide Reynolds with a lot of valuable information about the school she wanted to attend.
‚ÄúShe could tell me anything I wanted to know about Georgia,‚Äù Reynolds said. ‚ÄúJust hearing her talk about her time here, it made me that much more excited to come here.‚Äù
In her short time since arriving at Georgia, Reynolds has made a big impact on the team.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve never seen anybody flip the switch so quick,‚Äù Durante said. ‚ÄúShe can be out here totally goofing around having a great time (then) … it‚Äôs time for practice, Morgan is on it. That doesn‚Äôt come very naturally to a lot of people. She‚Äôs just brought a lot of entertainment, a lot of fun, and also a lot of focus and a lot of hard work.‚Äù
Durante described Reynolds as one of the team‚Äôs hardest workers, saying that she has to kick Reynolds off of equipment ‚Äúso that somebody else can get a turn.‚Äù
Reynolds works hard because she prides herself in consistency and pushing her teammates in any way she can.
‚ÄúEven though I‚Äôm not in the lineup in some things, I feel like I can push the other girls to get better so that the ones that are in the lineup can keep up their work and stay in it,‚Äù Reynolds said.
This hard work and consistency has already paid off for the freshman, who is expected to be in the Gym Dogs‚Äô lineup in the beam and floor events. Regardless of what Reynolds competes in, her ‚Äúsilly and goofy‚Äù personality, as Durante put it, is sure to translate into an entertaining show.
‚ÄúShe‚Äôs very confident, she‚Äôs very fun to watch there and she‚Äôs an amazing competitor,‚Äù Durante said. ‚ÄúYou put a challenge in front of her and she wants to figure out a way to get it done so I look forward to that.‚Äù