NEWBURYPORT, Mass. — Since she was a young child training at her family’s gym, Georgia Dabritz has dedicated her life to gymnastics.
In her nearly two-decade career, Dabritz has accomplished seemingly everything a young gymnast could hope to accomplish. She was a Massachusetts state champion and a Junior Olympic champion in high school, and in the past four years she has enjoyed a phenomenally successful career at Utah.
The 22-year-old’s gymnastics journey will come to an end when the Utah senior captain competes for the last time at the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics National Championships this weekend.
Since she first arrived in Salt Lake City four years ago, Dabritz’s résumé has been extraordinary. Going into nationals this weekend, she is a 13-time All-American, an eight-time NCAA Regional champion, six-time Pac-12 champion and has won every major Pac-12 award during her career, including Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year honors this year.
She has also earned seven career 10.0 scores in her career (five in bars and once each in vault and floor), and her five perfect bar scores are the second most by a Ute in the event. She’s even earned the nickname “No Grips Dabritz,” thanks to her propensity to perform on the uneven bars barehanded, a rarity in gymnastics.
“Her career has been great from the beginning. She came in and contributed immediately. Each year she has just gotten better and better and her confidence has grown, and this year she’s been unbelievable,” said Utah gymnastics head coach Greg Marsden. “She’s basically won everything and had numerous 10s on bars and also on vault; the most recent thing was our NCAA Regionals, in which she won or tied every event.”
Though she did place second in the country in the bars as a sophomore, one honor that has remained elusive for Dabritz is a national championship, but that could finally change this weekend if she puts together the kind of performance she’s capable of, Marsden said.
|Georgia Dabritz Résumé|
|NCAA uneven bar runner-up|
|NCAA first-team All-America all-arounder|
|Eight-time NCAA Regional champion|
|Four-time Pac-12 champion|
|Six-time first-team All-Pac-12 Conference|
|2014 Pac-12 Specialist of the Year|
|2012 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year|
|Six Pac-12 Specialist of the Week awards|
|Two Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week awards|
|Two-time Utah co-MVP|
|Team Captain (2015)|
|Three 10.0 scores (2 UB, 1 FX)|
|52 career victories|
|Has led Utah in victories all three seasons|
|Has hit 130-139 career routines|
|Two-time Pac-12 All-Academic|
“There are a number of good kids, and she’s one of them, so it’s going to come down to who has a great weekend, but she’s certainly capable of challenging in the all-around,” Marsden said. “Her sophomore year she was runner-up on bars, so she has a chance there. She’s an excellent vaulter, and she’s probably got a chance on floor, as well.”
Dabritz might not have even gotten a chance to compete at Nationals if it weren’t for her heroic performance at the NCAA Regionals last weekend. As a team, Utah performed uncharacteristically poor for the first two events, jeopardizing the team’s chances to qualify for nationals.
Despite the slow start, Dabritz was there to help carry her teammates early and then lead the charge back at the end. She won all four events and the all-around, and in the end the Utes finished second overall to clinch the program’s 40th consecutive trip to nationals.
“It was pretty tough after those first two events,” Dabritz said. “From that point on we knew we had to rally and get out there, so we hit the rest of our routines from that point on.”
Dabritz’s success this season has come despite some incredibly difficult circumstances outside the gym. Prior to the season, Dabritz’s longtime coach at Ace Gymnastics in Ipswich, Massachusetts, Laura Tebo, was diagnosed with cancer, and throughout the season she traveled back and forth between Utah and New England to visit her.
Tebo had coached Dabritz since the beginning, and she was also an instrumental part in helping Dabritz through the college application process that eventually led her to Utah. Prior to her passing on Feb. 1, Dabritz said Tebo was like her second mom and had done as much to shape her life as anyone.
“It was definitely a difficult year for me emotionally and physically, traveling back and forth from home,” Dabritz said. “At the same time I had gymnastics as a release for me, so I had that to keep my mind off of what was going on outside of the gym and do what I love every day and keep up her legacy.”
Dabritz will have one more opportunity to do that this weekend when she and her teammates take center stage at championships, which will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, from April 17-19.
After that, Dabritz said she’s expecting to spend a fifth year at Utah finishing up her health society and policy, and health promotion and education majors. Beyond that, things are still up in the air, but regardless of what the future holds, she said she’ll never forget the experience she’s had in the gym at Utah.
“My four years here, it’s really a unique experience being on this team,” Dabritz said. “I have so many great memories here and it would be impossible to forget all the great things that have happened to me here.”
This article was written by Mac Cerullo from The Daily News of Newburyport, Mass. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.