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.
“She’s just very comfortable in her own skin is probably the best way for me to say that,” 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’s first home meet rolls around on Jan. 17.
“I’ve always been to Gym Dog meets and I know how much support and how many fans there are,” Reynolds said. “I’m really excited to be able to perform in front of that many people and fans.”
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’t 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.
“She could tell me anything I wanted to know about Georgia,” Reynolds said. “Just hearing her talk about her time here, it made me that much more excited to come here.”
In her short time since arriving at Georgia, Reynolds has made a big impact on the team.
“I’ve never seen anybody flip the switch so quick,” Durante said. “She can be out here totally goofing around having a great time (then) … it’s time for practice, Morgan is on it. That doesn’t come very naturally to a lot of people. She’s just brought a lot of entertainment, a lot of fun, and also a lot of focus and a lot of hard work.”
Durante described Reynolds as one of the team’s hardest workers, saying that she has to kick Reynolds off of equipment “so that somebody else can get a turn.”
Reynolds works hard because she prides herself in consistency and pushing her teammates in any way she can.
“Even though I’m 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,” Reynolds said.
This hard work and consistency has already paid off for the freshman, who is expected to be in the Gym Dogs’ lineup in the beam and floor events. Regardless of what Reynolds competes in, her “silly and goofy” personality, as Durante put it, is sure to translate into an entertaining show.
“She’s very confident, she’s very fun to watch there and she’s an amazing competitor,” Durante said. “You 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.”