Gymnastics Q-and-A with Rachel Goldenberg


Rachel Goldneberg received a 9.85 on her floor routine Feb. 19, 2012 at the Kent State meet against Northern Illinois. Photo by Grace Jelinek.

Erica Mucci

This week :

The Flashes will travel to No. 19 North Carolina State

They will take on N.C. State, Towson and William & Mary in a quad meet.

Action will begin Friday at the Reynolds Coliseum at 7 p.m.

Born and raised in Doylestown, Pa., Rachel Goldenberg was a little girl with an abundance of energy. At age 3, her parents put her in gymnastics to keep her from bouncing on their couches, and the sport became her passion.

She said like every little girl in gymnastics, her dream was to compete in the Olympics. When she realized that opportunity had passed, she switched her focus to college gymnastics. The senior gymnast sat down with The Daily Kent Stater to talk about her career at the university.

EM: What was the recruiting process like for you?

RG: I think it was different for me than most people because my coaches weren’t really involved. I didn’t know what to do, and I wasn’t really led in the right direction by anyone. I actually ended up coming here because one of our old (Kent State) assistant coaches was recruiting my teammate.

EM: Was Kent State your only option?

RG: I visited a few other schools, but this is the one that stood out to me the most. The program was really good, and it was just the one that felt right. That’s how I knew.

EM: So, what has the journey been like since?

RG: Sophomore year was definitely the roughest. I competed one meet and then tore my ACL and had to have surgery. I could work through my injuries before, but that was something I just couldn’t compete through. Last year was about coming back and proving myself. I wasn’t always in the lineup, and it was a different thing every week.

EM: How did you deal with that?

RG: It keeps you determined because you know you can be pulled out at any time. It’s a part of the sport and it keeps everyone working hard and pushing each other.

EM: You always seem to be especially encouraging. Is that a role you’ve grown into?

RG: For me, it’s really important to help the other girls out. When I was an underclassman, it helped me to have that support. I try to motivate people, especially in my two events where I feel I can give the most knowledge. As an anchor person in the lineup, it’s my job to let my team know they can count on me.

EM: With this being your final season, how do see your career at Kent State ending?

RG: I think all of the seniors really want to win the MAC. We haven’t since our freshman year, and we’ve been working hard this year to make sure it happens. For me personally, I would love to win the MAC on floor and vault. I think I can do it as long as I hit the routine I’m capable of.

Contact Erica Mucci at [email protected].