Today: May 29, 2024

Record-breaking season for an Owl

HEATHER FRANCISpecial to Southern News

A sprained ankle the day before Nationals kept Rebecca Brady on the sideline before the biggest match of the year. After working so hard to get there, all she could do was watch and cheer her teammates on.

“I stayed positive though. I had two more years to make a statement,” said Brady. “I think more than anything it motivated me to work hard for this year.”

Brady, 21, certainly made a statement last week when she set a new school record on the vault, scoring a 9.9 out of 10 as the Southern women’s gymnastics team went on to beat Cornell, Ithaca and West Chester.

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
Brady has dominated in all competition this season.

Brady is from a small town in New Hampshire called Hampstead. She said she chose to come to Southern because she was recruited to do gymnastics. She hadn’t been convinced she even wanted to do gymnastics in college, but her coaches and her mother pushed her to continue. She said it wasn’t until coach Jerry Nelson called her after seeing her at a regional meet and asked her to visit the campus that she decided she wanted to go to Southern.

“He is a big reason why I came here. He was so welcoming and funny and really made me feel like I could impact the team and deserved to do college gymnastics,” said Brady.

Brady said she was four years old when she began doing gymnastics. She said her mother put her in gymnastics for fun because it would be a great way to let a kid let out her energy. Since then, gymnastics has been a main focus in her life.

“Gymnastics is my life and I do not know what I would do without it. It keeps me balanced, in shape, and I think an overall well-rounded, respectable person,” said Brady “It teaches you to work hard with others and respect people.”

Brady is currently a junior majoring in Public Health. Living on campus so far from home, she said her teammates are an amazing support system. Alanna Laecca, a fellow teammate and Brady’s roommate, said she thinks the world could use more people like Brady.

“To the team, Becca is a huge inspiration and role model. Becca is a captain as a junior. That in itself says quite a bit,” said Laecca. “She is such a strong and steady member of the team. She never complains and works hard each and every day, inspiring all of us to do the same.”

Brady stuck her landing perfectly when she broke the record. She said the only deduction taken was her vault. The record she beat was the same record she had already broken last year. She said she was only trying to improve herself as much as she could when she broke the record again. And when Brady broke the school record, it only brought the team closer.

Stephanie Kuska, a senior captain on the team said Brady leads by example. “She is the best vaulter Southern has ever seen and you would never know it,” said Kuska. “When she broke the school record with a 9.9 she unified the entire team that day. Everyone felt the emotion that she was experiencing. You can tell she truly cares about her teammates.”

Brady said the most challenging thing in her life right now is just her schoolwork. She said her main goals right now are to place in the top three at Nationals, graduate from college and eventually graduate school. Until then she said she is working hard to stay on top of her schoolwork and prepare for the team’s next meet on March 24th—the ECAC championship at Moore Fieldhouse.

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