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The Road To NCAAs: Rachel Schick Closes Georgia Career At Nationals

The Road To NCAAs: Rachel Schick Closes Georgia Career At Nationals
Photo: University of Georgia Athletics
When Georgia started off the season with a rough outing on balance beam, Rachel Schick was one of three Gymdogs who came off the beam. After what she deemed "a fluke," Georgia has bounced back tremendously as the season progressed. The senior became a mainstay in the Gymdogs' lineup on both balance beam and the uneven bars.

Schick posted back-to-back scores of 9.900 or better on balance beam in the second and third meets of the season. She has seven scores of 9.800 or better on beam, where she anchors the rotation. Schick has a steadiness about her on beam, and she has shown this season that she's capable of bringing in a great score for Georgia.

She has also been a solid contributor on the uneven bars this season and has competed in 12 meets while anchoring this rotation as well. She has 10 scores of 9.825 or better, including a season-high 9.925 that she earned on both Jan. 16 and March 5.

Georgia will look to fight its way into Saturday's Super Six when it faces off against LSU, Alabama, and Florida plus Michigan and Nebraska in the second semifinal session on Friday.

FloGymnastics: What was the biggest thing you took away from regionals that you'll use heading into nationals?
Rachel Schick: Probably in general how confident we are as a team and with our relationships. Knowing that that confidence is going to help us blossom at nationals and just seeing much we have grown throughout the season and how we're finally at our peak. We're going to hit that peak going into nationals.

How did the early-season struggles, especially on beam, help shape your team throughout the season?
We really didn't look at them as struggles. It was kind of flukes, because at practice we would go up there in an intra-squad and all six girls and even the alternates would go up there and hit 9.9 routines. So when we went out on the competition floor, we had expectations to go up there and hit. So in the beginning of the season when we were struggling on beam, we kept pushing back and knowing that we are a great beam squad [and] we're going to go up there and we're going to hit in competition. So we looked at any flukes that we had in competition as flukes and went back to our piggy bank of practice intra-squads and knew that we were a great beam team and we were going to show that to everyone.

What is your favorite event to perform on and why?
Beam. Beam has always been my favorite. I know [assistant coach] Jay [Hogue] would be upset with me for saying that, because he always tells me how awesome of a bar swinger I am. But there's just something about beam where I just love performing it. When I'm up doing the skills on beam, it really gives me a sense of gratitude and a time where I can just show off how much I love the sport.

What is your favorite skill to perform on any event?
Probably my Jaeger on bars. I feel like I'm flying for a brief second.

What is the most challenging skill that you've learned and what made it challenging for you?
Actually my double layout dismount. It's not challenging for me now, but I actually did not have a D-level dismount until I got to college because for some reason my dismounts on bars never really clicked in club. So when I got to college, Jay was just like 'You know what, let's just mess around with double layouts.' All of a sudden, I was able to do a D-level dismount. I would say that a dismount in general off bars was my hardest skill to learn.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given throughout your career?
My coach in club used to tell me 'expect the worst and hope for the best.' So that when you go into any situation ready, you can adapt if it's a great situation, or if it's a bad situation, just be ready. That's probably been the best advice I've been given.

How do you bounce back from a fall?
You go back to your piggy bank of all those practice routines that you've hit and also going back to the basics and knowing how great your gymnastics is. You just, in a way, have amnesia and forget about the fall. Most of the time they are just flukes.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
A persistent woman.

What are you most looking forward to about competing at nationals?
Spending my last time competing and doing the sport with 15 of the most wonderful, humble, talented young ladies I have ever met in my life.

Has it hit you yet that your career is coming to a close?
It hasn't. I have a feeling once I salute on that final bar routine, that's when it'll hit me. I'm trying to stay in the moment and do what I need to do for my team and enjoy the sport. But I think when I salute after I land my double layout off bars, I think I'll probably end up crying, because it'll hit me.
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