Dana Durante

Head coach Danna Durante talks with Shayla Worley before her beam routine during a gymnastics meet between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Oklahoma Sooners at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., Saturday, January 5, 2013. (Evan Stichler, evansan8@gmail.com)

After a long fall filled with conditioning and practices, the Georgia gymnastics team finally competed in its first meet.

“I’m excited and relieved and glad,” Georgia head coach Danna Durante said. “I kind of feel like now we can just focus on getting better each week.”

Junior Lindsey Cheek said it was nice to be able to show off the progress the team has made in the gym all fall.

“It felt great to get out there in front of our fans and show them all our hard work that we’ve been putting in this fall,” Cheek said. “It was just really exciting.”

For freshman Brittany Rogers, who only arrived in Athens 10 days ago, the meet was just a blur.

“It went by so fast,” Rogers said. “After beam, I was just like, ‘Oh man! I want to do it again!’ It was unbelievable. I’m really blessed to be a part of this team.”

Just to be settled in and finally a part of the team was a relief for Rogers.

“It’s really a relief and nice to get it done,” Rogers said. “Now we have a starting point and can move forward and see what we need to work on and tweak.”

The first meet also gave the team the excitement of meet season and made it want its next competition come that much faster.

“Finally competing… I want to go out there and do it again it was so much fun,” Rogers said. “I’m really happy that I’m part of this team, and happy I finally settled in. Now it’s just a straight road from here, and we can only go up.”

It was also Durante’s first competition as the head coach of Georgia, but nerves weren't an issue.

“I really wasn’t that nervous,” Durante said. “I was more nervous just making sure the arena was set up right. Once we got to the march in I was done being nervous. I was just ready to start competing.”

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