Danna Durante and Brittany Rogers did some tinkering on Sunday.
Rogers, a sophomore all-around competitor for the Gym Dogs, fell during her beam routine in Georgia’s win over LSU on Friday.
So coach and athlete quickly decided to go to Plan B to avoid posting another 9.3.
“We need to make that a little simpler for her,” said Durante, whose team hosts Iowa at 2 p.m. today. “You have to be way more than comfortable because you add that adrenaline, you can’t be (thinking), ‘I’m not sure I’m going to make this,’ and that’s where she is with that. Maybe as a senior we’ll pull it back, but we’re going to change it. We already talked about that. She already had a plan.”
A rule put into place this year requires the completion of two flight series that start and end on the beam. Previously, a gymnast’s flight series leading into her dismount counted as one of the two required, but the new rule puts a wrinkle in that.
Rogers’ spill came during a full twisting back handspring before stepping out into another back handspring.
“This is something she can do, but I think she needs more time with it,” Durante said. “I can just tell that she’s nervous. We’re going to change her dismount and her series and switch the two.”
A higher level
Cat Hires competed on floor nine times and on bars eight times in her first three seasons at Georgia.
The senior has been in the lineup for both of those events in all three of Georgia’s meets this season and will likely be a staple for the Gym Dogs moving forward.
“Not only did she compete in them, she did very well and still made a little mistake and those are 9.9-plus routines,” Durante said.
Still, Hires has some “polishing” she wants to do on her routines. She’s already slashed her career average of 9.43 on floor by registering a 9.88, 9.725 and 9.8 in three chances this season.
“I just think polishing like pointed toes, straight legs,” Hires said. “Little things like that. Cleaning up our landings on vault and floor, but that just comes with time and experience throughout the season, so we’ll get there.”
Morgan Reynolds churned out a 9.9 on floor Friday, the first home meet of her career.
The Athens Christian graduate also held steady on beam, posting a 9.8.
Durante said the freshman’s standout performances — both career-highs — provided her with a confidence boost.
“I can’t stop smiling because if there’s an athlete that we have hounded on floor with everything, it’s Morgan,” Durante said. “It just goes to show that that hard work and diligence and her constant time and energy and effort and cleaning up and fixing things pays off. That’s just the start for her.”
Reynolds wasn’t the only Gym Dog to post a career-high school against LSU.
Junior Chelsea Davis’ bars routine earned her a 9.975, the meet’s highest score in any event. It was the 13th straight meet in which Davis scored a 9.9 or higher, dating back to the Gym Dogs’ meet against Auburn last season.
“The maturity and the growth from last Sunday to today was tremendous,” Durante said. “It’s not because we trained a ton … but they just believed that they were capable of doing what we were asking.”
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