Gym Dogs find silver lining of canceled home meet

Though the Gym Dogs were disappointed Friday’s meet against Missouri was canceled, Danna Durante found the positive in the situation.

AJ Reynolds/Staff, @ajreynoldsphoto
Georgia gymnast Chelsea Davis gets high fives from teammates during a gymnastics meet against Iowa in Athens, Ga., Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.

More training days. More rest. More time to improve.

“Obviously, we wanted to compete and the team, especially the seniors, missing an opportunity to compete in front of their home crowd, but I do think that this team needed some rest,” Durante said Friday morning. “We weren’t planning on it, but we’re certainly going to take advantage of it.”

Georgia and Missouri couldn’t find a makeup date that worked for both teams, leaving the Gym Dogs with one less home meet, where they average a 197.86 compared to 196.54 on the road.

“Certainly the further down the road we had to look, the harder it became,” Durante said. “Having a third dual meet weekend really, I did not think it was in this team’s best interest. Although we were willing to do that, it just wasn’t going to work for Missouri. The options that worked for them didn’t work for us.”

Durante said she wasn’t concerned about the Gym Dogs (3-4) missing out on what would likely be another 197 at home.

“Certainly we look to be even better our last two home meets, but we’ve been saying for the last several weeks that we need to take what we’ve been doing at home and compete on the road that way,” she said. “I think with these extra training days has allowed us to do a few more numbers, a few more intersquad (competitions), a few more team practices and clean up on things.”

She said the extended break from competition allows the coaches and gymnasts to fold a few new things into routines that call for it.

“Just continue to work on those upgrades that we’ve been wanting to put in that haven’t been ready,” she said “With two days of training a week, it’s difficult to get some of those things in their routines. I don’t think (the canceled home meet is) a disadvantage in that way at all.”

The Gym Dogs, who compete Friday at Auburn before returning home against Arkansas on March 1, were able to get a full day of training in Thursday and Friday. They will have today off before returning to the gym Sunday and Monday with Tuesday being an off day.

‚ÄúWednesday is more of an individual practice day and then we leave (Thursday), so it really just gives us more training days and a little more rest because they‚Äôre not recovering from the meet,‚Äù Durante said. ‚Äú… We need to be better on the road and I think us having two extra days of practice is going to help us do that.‚Äù

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