Posts Tagged ‘Jay Clark’

Shayla Worley to compete for Georgia

October 31, 2008
Shayla Worley has announced plans to compete for Georgia.

Shayla Worley has announced plans to compete for Georgia.

Arguably the biggest recruit in the nation has made up her mind to compete for the University of Georgia. Says Rick at Gymnastics Coaching: “The rich get richer.”

This is a huge coup for Georgia associate head coach Jay Clark, who will take over from Suzanne Yoculan at the end of this season. Worley’s class will be the first in more than a quarter-century not to be influenced by Yoculan.

According to GymnastTV, Worley said the choice was between UGA and UCLA. That’s a disappointment for Florida, which is still seeking its first national championship. Worley will join freshmen-to-be Christa Tanella, Noel Couch and Kati Breazeal.

What this does is cast doubt as to whether Worley will have the ability (or the ambition) to make a run for 2012. Then again, the Georgia girls are pretty sharp — Courtney Kupets was think-tanking a return to elite competition and competed a beam routine with a super-high A-score last season — and Athens isn’t that far away from Worley’s home gym.

Also: The Gym Dogs’ “Where are they now?” page has been updated. And it sounds like everyone has a new floor routine.

(via Gymnastics Coaching, GymnastTV)

New NCAA roles for Durante, Dantzscher

October 23, 2008

David Durante will be an assistant coach at Stanford this season.

David Durante will be an assistant coach at Stanford this season.

With the Olympics over, it’s time to start thinking about the college season. 2008-09 will be filled with familiar faces, although in different roles than in the past.

Olympic alternate David Durante has accepted a position as one of Stanford’s assistant coaches. By the accounts of all who have met him, Durante is a hugely likable and personable fellow, and college coaching should suit him. He’s just one more talent in Stanford’s already stocked corner. The Cardinal may be out for revenge this year after last year’s home NCAA loss to Oklahoma.

2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzscher has signed on to be an assistant coach with Arizona State (Stanford head coach Kristen Smyth got her coaching start the same way.) Despite the talents of Tia Orlando, Nicole Harris (before she retired mid-season) and Tiana Jean, the Sun Devils languished at the bottom of the Pac-10. Seven of the Sun Devils’ 17 gymnasts this year are freshmen.

Dantzscher was something of a showstopper in the NCAA. Check out this floor routine from the 2003 NCAA Championships:

Rick at Gymnastics Coaching reports that Shayla Worley visited Georgia but hasn’t made a final decision about her NCAA future. Many people think because she’s from Florida she’d go with the Gators. With Worley on their team, they might finally get that elusive NCAA title they’ve been so close to for the past three years.

Vote for where you think Shayla will go at Difficulty Plus Execution.

WOGA’s Christa Tanella, however, has already made her choice.

Three gymnasts – Christa Tanella, Kati Breazeal and Noel Couch – said they have told Georgia associate head coach Jay Clark that on signing day, Nov. 12, they will sign letters of intent to attend Georgia.

Another strong class for the Gym Dogs. Suzanne Yoculan or not, they’re sure to stay strong.

With torn Achilles, Kupets done for season

March 2, 2008

For the Georgia Gym Dogs, Saturday’s meet against Arkansas was the best of times, and the worst of times — at exactly the same time.

(more…)

Georgia gym news

October 18, 2007

Suzanne Yoculan, who nursed the Georgia Gymdog program from puppyhood to maturity during the past quarter century, will retire after the 2008-09 season, the University of Georgia announced today. Georgia alum Jay Clark, Yoculan’s assistant coach since 1990, will take over the program.

Yoculan is leaving behind a legacy most coaches can only dream of. In 24 years, Yoculan’s team has finished no lower than 9th at the NCAA Championships. In the past decade, Georgia’s never been off the podium at Nationals. If ever there has been a gymnastics dynasty, this is it.

Longtime Georgia coach Suzanne Yoculan celebrates another win with the Gymdogs.

Nor does it appear things will change anytime soon. Part of Yoculan’s success has been her ability to attract top athletes to her program.

Among the classes Clark is credited with recruiting are the classes of 1998 and 1999, which consisted of All-Americans Kim Arnold, Julie Ballard, Jenni Beathard, Karin Lichey, Sam Muhleman and Canadian National Team member Stacey Galloway. Those two recruiting classes are regarded as the “two best recruiting classes ever in the history of Georgia gymnastics and possibly in all of collegiate gymnastics” by Yoculan.

Arnold, Beathard, Lichey and Muhleman were former U.S. National Team members. Also due in large part to his efforts, Georgia signed the No. 1 recruits in 1993 (Leslie Angeles), 1994 (Arnold) and 1995 (Amanda Borden). The Gym Dogs’ roster currently includes two former Olympic medalists in Kupets and sophomore Courtney McCool.

Gymnasts who have been among the lower echelon of the elite ranks have typically done well in college programs, and Georgia has been no exception. Cases in point: Arnold, who won the NCAA all-around in 1997 and 1998, and Lichey, who won the Honda Award for women’s gymnastics in 1999. Following the tradition, South Carolinian Grace Taylor wowed the Gymdogs as a freshman last year, placing second on balance beam at the NCAA Championships.

Grace Taylor at the 2004 Friendship Classic:

And at the 2007 NCAA Championships on balance beam:

Georgia freshman Hilary Mauro

This year, former national team member Hilary Mauro, who at 4’7″ has the distinction of being the smallest gymnast ever to join the Georgia team, will make her collegiate debut. She is one of only two freshman on Georgia’s team — the other is Cassidy McComb, who trained at Gymcats in Las Vegas under coach Cassie Rice.

Mauro, who was 16th at the 2006 U.S. Championships, has already been impressive at practice, training a double pike off beam, a running double front and a whip double pike on floor and a one and a half twisting Yurchenko vault, Yoculan said in an internet video release. She has been writing a weekly column, titled Hilary’s Highlights, since September.

Hilary Mauro, 2006 Ghent World Cup Event Finals, Balance Beam:

According to the Athens, Ga. Banner-Herald, the announcement of Yoculan’s impending retirement elicited an emotional reaction from the Gymdogs.

Tears were shed when Yoculan told her team on Monday about her retirement plans. Recruits that have committed to Georgia and will sign in November were informed last week.

“It was kind of a shock; we weren’t ready for it,” Taylor said. “It’s all good emotion. I think they definitely put a lot of thought and planning into making sure that when Suzanne retired that it was the best time possible. We were all happy for her. Everyone wants to decide when they retire, and it’s a long way off, too.”

(via Gymnastics Coaching)