Brittany Rogers usually gives her tickets to her teammates because her family lives too far away to watch her perform very often.
Georgia's Brittany Rogers competes on the floor as the Gym Dogs take on Utah on March 9 at Stegeman Coliseum.
But this weekend Rogers is collecting all her IOUs to accommodate her kin as they travel from Canada to invade Oregon.
“I think I’m going to have 10 people, which is an insanely large number from what I’ve had at previous meets,” Rogers said. “The last time I saw them was Christmas, when they dropped me off here (Athens). That’s the longest I’ve ever been away from home. The Olympics was a long time, but that was just a month long and that was hard. I don’t even know what I’m going to do. I’m so excited. This week is going by so slow because I know my family is at the end of it.”
Rogers, a freshman from Coquitlam, British Columbia, near Vancouver, is having a standout rookie season. Last weekend, she won two individual titles at the Southeastern Conference championships as she tied for first on uneven parallel bars with a 9.95 and tied with teammate Shayla Worley for first on balance beam, also with a 9.95.
“I still kind of have to pinch myself knowing I’m an SEC title holder,” Rogers said. “It’s motivation for sure to keep up the good work, determination and confidence. I’m able to work those events. I’ve never been a beam queen, so it’s really cool knowing I’m a beam queen now.”
Worley excited to share first conference title
Worley felt doubly blessed to not only win her first individual SEC championship last weekend, but share it with teammate Rogers.
“It was so great,” Worley said. “I was writing Brittany a little motivational note a while ago and I told her I couldn’t think of a better person to share anything with. It’s a great honor and then to have two people on the same team share a title, is just incredible. Obviously we’re a great beam team and it’s good to know that we have each other’s back, especially on that event.”
Georgia struggled on beam early in the season and had to count two falls against Florida. But the Gym Dogs put up 49.625 at North Carolina State and 49.5 points on beam in the SEC Championships. The 49.625 at North Carolina State is the second-highest beam score in program history.
“That killed me in the beginning because I knew how good we were and that seemed to be the event that we were under-performing on,” Worley said. “It killed me because we see what we do in the gym and we see what we’re capable of. So at the end of the season when we put in so much work on that event and so much attention to detail paying off. Sure we had some bumps and some hiccups but that’s what led us to becoming a great beam team.”
Worley comes off of her best season of her career and was named Southeast Region Gymnast of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coach/Women on Wednesday. She currently ranks No. 2 in the nation on balance beam and has set career highs on bars, beam and floor exercise this season.
Couch feeling better after injuries
Georgia senior Noel Couch had not missed a meet in her first three seasons at Georgia. But her final year has been a struggle. Couch had to sit the first half of the season because of a thumb injury. She returned for four meets before going out again because of an injured leg.
“I feel great,” Couch said. “It’s good to be back. I’m feeling okay again.”
Couch scored a 9.8 on vault and a 9.825 on balance beam at the SEC Championships two weeks ago. She hit a 9.9 in her first meet back against North Carolina State in the regular-season finale.
This and That
Georgia’s rotation will be vault, bye, bars, beam, bye, and ending on floor. … This is the farthest Georgia has traveled for an NCAA Regional since going to Logan, Utah in 1999. … Georgia and Oregon State have been in the same regional the last two seasons. Georgia was first and Oregon State was second in Auburn last year. … Georgia will be the top seed in the regional that includes Arkansas, Boise State, Arizona State, California and host Oregon State. … First-year Gym Dogs coach Danna Durante has direct ties to two of the programs at the Corvallis Regional. She competed at Arizona State and was the head coach at Cal last season before joining the Gym Dogs. … The top two teams advance to the NCAA National Championships at UCLA on April 19-21.