Q&A with Brittney Brabec

Feb. 17, 2005

Husky freshman gymnast Brittney Brabec is adjusting to collegiate life nicely after a few bumps in the road. Brabec, a Gresham, Oregon native, has competed in all-around for the UW in five of the seven meets and hit career highs in all-around, vault, bars and beam in the Huskies last home meet on Feb. 11. She has competed in bars and beam in all seven meets and has not scored below a 9.550 in the last five meets. Gohuskies.com correspondent Veronica White recently sat down with the fast improving freshman to get her thoughts on her first season as a GymDawg.

Gohuskies.com: How do you feel about your freshman season so far?
Brittney Brabec: 'It's pretty good. It was off to a rough start the first couple meets, but it's pretty good now. I have gotten comfortable with competing.'

GH: Are you excited to face your former club coaches, Steve and Sue Arkell, at Cal this weekend?
BB: 'Yeah, I actually am. I haven't seen them in a long time and it will be good to see them. He was a good friend of mine. He is a good coach. We had some rough times together, but we worked through them and he is a really good guy.'

GH: What is the biggest difference between club and college gymnastics?
BB: 'It's a lot better than club and a lot more fun, you actually have fun doing gymnastics. It's about team and I like that, it's more competitive in a different way and I like that. Team instead of individual. I think that is the biggest difference for me. I also think the atmosphere with everything because everybody supports you no matter what. If you fall you fall, they don't get mad at you, they won't be angry with you, they won't say anything bad about you. They won't think any different. I think that is a really good thing, it takes a lot of pressure of you.'

GH: How has your college experience been so far?
BB: 'It's been really good. School was rough, it was a hard transition first quarter, but I am back on track now. Everything is going really good, it's fun, I like it. I am getting in the flow of things and it is easier to manage my time now.'

GH: What are your personal goals for this season?
BB: 'Stay confident and stay consistent.'

GH: What do you hope to accomplish by the end of the season?
BB: 'I would love for the team to go to Nationals. That is basically my goal, I don't really have an individual one.'

GH: How has the team dealt with injuries to Carly Dockendorf, Molly Seaman, and Kelly McDonald?
BB: 'It was hard. It's hard with Molly still out because we definitely need her on beam. We are stepping up, some of the freshman. Other people are stepping up and we are doing okay, but we could definitely use them.'

GH: How is the team reacting to the loss of assistant coach Frank Lee?
BB: 'I haven't been with him for a long time, but it's still hard for me. We said that we would step up to the plate in helping each other out whenever we needed to, coaching each other ourselves and just doing anything that we needed to do to help ease the loss. It's hard in the middle of the season and especially with Frank being such a great coach.'

GH: What does Washington gymnastics mean to you at this point, now that you have some competition under your belt?
BB: 'It's basically my life, they are my friends, my family. It's who I have here, they help you in any way. And getting my school paid for is a great dream of mine, so it's my life.'

GH: Do you think the scoring has become more fair with the new judging assignment process?
BB: 'It's definitely a lot harder. But I think that scores are a lot lower than they used to be, but I think it's fair now because some of the scores were really high.'

GH: What is your greatest non-gymnastics accomplishment?
BB: 'Overcoming a friends death. It's her birthday coming up tomorrow actually and her death on March 11, so it's going to be a little rough. Definitely overcoming that has been a big thing for me because it was a hard time in my life.'

GH: What is your favorite event?
BB: 'It depends on the day. Sometimes bars is my favorite. Other days, floor can be my favorite. I don't know, it just depends on the day. I like competing on all of them. I don't really have a favorite.'

GH: What is your favorite other UW sport?
BB: 'Probably men's soccer. My boyfriend is on the team and I just really learned about the sport. So I like watching it with him and I went to the games this year.'

GH: What's your craziest ambition?
BB: 'I want to go skydiving. I'm hoping to go this summer with my uncle in Arizona.'

GH: What is your favorite class so far this year at Washington?
BB: 'Probably I would have to say Communications 201. That has been the most interesting so far. Next quarter I'm hoping to take genetics and biology. I definitely like genetics and DNA and stuff like, so I'm hoping that those will become my favorites because I kind of want to go towards that.'

GH: Do you know what you want to major in already?
BB: 'I don't know what I'm going to major in, but I want to go towards forensics or maybe sports training.'

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