Big Things Ahead For Utah Gymnast Amelie Morgan As She Sets Sights On 2024 Paris Olympics
Jan 23, 2024, 2:24 PM | Updated: 3:47 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – Big things are ahead for Red Rock star, Amelie Morgan.
The British gymnast was recognized as Pac-12 Specialist of the Week for her career best 9.950 scores on bars and beam in week three’s Best of Utah meet Tuesday morning. This is Morgan’s first Pac-12 weekly award.
However, the bigger news is that Morgan announced Monday night she will be returning to the United Kingdom in March to compete in the English Gymnastics Championships. If Morgan does well, she could be on her way to competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics for Team Britain.
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Amelie Morgan Pursuing Best Of Both Worlds
Morgan’s plan is to balance being a Red Rock and trying to qualify for the upcoming Olympics which isn’t exactly an easy task.
“I have made the decision to travel back to the UK to compete again,” Morgan said. “I already feel so proud of how far I have come, and I am loving my life here competing for Utah, however, I would regret not taking this opportunity to compete in my home country again. I love taking on a challenge and this definitely isn’t easy, but I can’t wait for this journey alongside competing in the NCAA.”
The English Gymnastics Championships will run from March 1-3, Utah will be on the road competing against Cal that weekend.
Morgan’s plan is to be back in time to compete with the Utes in the Pac-12 Championship on March 23.
Red Rocks Plan To Manage Amelie Morgan’s Absence
Obviously, it’s hard to replace someone with Olympic level talent who also happens to be a team captain. Even if it’s only temporary.
Head coach Carly Dockendorf believes the Red Rocks have the depth to manage Morgan’s Olympic departure while also acknowledging she’s a tough act to fill in for.
“I think the great thing is that we have a lot of depth this year,” Dockendorf said. “We do have options on both of those events to go in. Obviously, for beam we will have to move someone back to lead off and I think we have a few options that could be fantastic. We’ll be utilizing some of our freshmen a little bit more and obviously our number seven and number eight will be ready to go.”
— Utah Gymnastics (@UtahGymnastics) January 23, 2024
Along with the possibility of being back in time for the Pac-12 Championships, Morgan will still be available to Utah for about another month. That should give Dockendorf, the coaching staff, and the other Red Rock athletes ample time to adjust and prepare for when she is not there.
“I think the women that you will see fill those spots we will keep giving as many opportunities as possible whether that is in exhibition or the lineup, so it isn’t all of the sudden at once,” Dockendorf said. “Sometimes I feel like moving someone to a lead off position is a bigger deal than just going into the lineup. That is probably something we will have to start working on a little bit more.”
Dockendorf says she feels like they have already been giving athletes that will have to step up in Morgan’s open spots opportunities to get a feel for competing which hopefully will result in a smooth transition.
“I think we have already been giving a lot of number sevens and eights lots of opportunity to go,” Dockendorf said. “We’ll just continue to build on that.”
Morgan’s departure should also lineup well with Dockendorf’s timeline for having Utah’s event lineups solidified as they begin to prepare for another post-season run.
“I think by mid-March we should have a pretty good idea,” Dockendorf said. “We’ll have had enough people go through different positions to see who is scoring well. Heading into Pac-12 Championships and post-season, definitely we need to kind of know who our top six scorers are going to be on each event.”
Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on X, Instagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports
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