Waterdown gymnast Maegan Chant enjoying freshman year in NCAA

Community Feb 09, 2017 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

Maegan Chant is on the mend in her freshman season with the University of Florida’s gymnastics team.

The 19-year-old Waterdown native injured her ankle and has only been able to compete in two competitions this year with the Gators, but said despite the injury, the season has been really good.

“They were amazing experiences,” she said. “A completely new atmosphere – especially competing with a team, it’s very encouraging.

“They’ve got your back and they’re there to support you and encourage you through it.”

However, the move to the NCAA ranks wasn’t made completely without challenges.

“It was a huge adjustment, just getting used to the new place and new people,” Chant said. “But I’ve adjusted really well and I’m loving it here so far.”

The Pan American Games silver medallist said the biggest challenge was moving away from home for the first time – and to a new country.

“Just leaving my family and living on my own for the first time,” she noted. “Adjusting to all the school work and balancing my training schedule with school.”

While Chant said the Gators squad doesn’t train as much as she did in the elite world, the team trains four times a week, in addition to conditioning. As well, Chant said, the coaching and training staff in Florida is great.

She noted the team usually travels on Thursdays, to compete on Fridays in head-to-head matches against other NCAA schools.

“We go up against another school every Friday,” she said. “We’ll compete in all four events as a team.”

Six of the team members will compete in each event – vault, bars, beam and floor exercise – with the top five scores factored into the total.

“I am training everything and I was competing everything but beam for the first two competitions,” she said. “Now I’m just trying to rehab my ankle to get back into the lineup.”

Chant’s bid for a spot on Team Canada at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games was also derailed by an ankle injury.

She took the year off between graduating high school and attending the University of Florida to focus on gymnastics – with an eye on Rio. But she suffered an ankle injury prior to Olympic trials.

“So I wasn’t fully prepared, but I still wanted to finish what I started and still try,” said Chant.

“Just being able to compete with the top girls was a really neat experience.”

Chant said it was a bit painful to watch the Games on television.

“It was definitely not easy,” she said. “But I still wanted to support them.”

Chant didn’t do any school work during the year she spent focusing on gymnastics, but said the transition back to an academic mindset was less difficult than she had anticipated.

“The school work is super hard here – there’s so much to do, balancing everything – but it was more smooth than I thought it was going to be.”

The 5’ 3” gymnast said she doesn’t have to declare a major until her sophomore year, but noted she’s considered going into nursing.

Although she has only been able to get into two competitions so far, Chant said the chance to experience NCAA competition with her teammates was an awesome feeling.

“I didn’t really know what to expect my very first competition,” she said, of the Gators’ season-opening victory over North Carolina State. “I just went into it with an open mind and tried to enjoy the experience.

“In elite, it’s very individualized, but here you’re doing it for your team and you don’t want to let them down – knowing you’re all in it together is awesome.”

Chant noted the rehab of her ankle injury is going slower than she’d like, but she expects to be back competing in the next couple of weeks.

Once her ankle is healed, Chant is looking forward to helping the team succeed.

“Just to contribute to any events they need me on,” she said, adding her strongest event is vault. “I train all of them, so wherever they need me, I’m happy to go and represent the team.”

The Gators currently sport a 4-1 record and are ranked third in the nation. The regular season runs until March, with the Southeastern Conference Championships taking place March 18.

For the rest of the season, Chant said the team’s goal is to be consistent – with an eye on winning the NCAA Championships in April in St. Louis, MO.

“Just take it one competition at the time,” Chant said. “Our goal is to go to the championships, do our best and hopefully win the national title.”

Waterdown gymnast Maegan Chant enjoying freshman year in NCAA

Community Feb 09, 2017 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

Maegan Chant is on the mend in her freshman season with the University of Florida’s gymnastics team.

The 19-year-old Waterdown native injured her ankle and has only been able to compete in two competitions this year with the Gators, but said despite the injury, the season has been really good.

“They were amazing experiences,” she said. “A completely new atmosphere – especially competing with a team, it’s very encouraging.

“They’ve got your back and they’re there to support you and encourage you through it.”

However, the move to the NCAA ranks wasn’t made completely without challenges.

“It was a huge adjustment, just getting used to the new place and new people,” Chant said. “But I’ve adjusted really well and I’m loving it here so far.”

The Pan American Games silver medallist said the biggest challenge was moving away from home for the first time – and to a new country.

“Just leaving my family and living on my own for the first time,” she noted. “Adjusting to all the school work and balancing my training schedule with school.”

While Chant said the Gators squad doesn’t train as much as she did in the elite world, the team trains four times a week, in addition to conditioning. As well, Chant said, the coaching and training staff in Florida is great.

She noted the team usually travels on Thursdays, to compete on Fridays in head-to-head matches against other NCAA schools.

“We go up against another school every Friday,” she said. “We’ll compete in all four events as a team.”

Six of the team members will compete in each event – vault, bars, beam and floor exercise – with the top five scores factored into the total.

“I am training everything and I was competing everything but beam for the first two competitions,” she said. “Now I’m just trying to rehab my ankle to get back into the lineup.”

Chant’s bid for a spot on Team Canada at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games was also derailed by an ankle injury.

She took the year off between graduating high school and attending the University of Florida to focus on gymnastics – with an eye on Rio. But she suffered an ankle injury prior to Olympic trials.

“So I wasn’t fully prepared, but I still wanted to finish what I started and still try,” said Chant.

“Just being able to compete with the top girls was a really neat experience.”

Chant said it was a bit painful to watch the Games on television.

“It was definitely not easy,” she said. “But I still wanted to support them.”

Chant didn’t do any school work during the year she spent focusing on gymnastics, but said the transition back to an academic mindset was less difficult than she had anticipated.

“The school work is super hard here – there’s so much to do, balancing everything – but it was more smooth than I thought it was going to be.”

The 5’ 3” gymnast said she doesn’t have to declare a major until her sophomore year, but noted she’s considered going into nursing.

Although she has only been able to get into two competitions so far, Chant said the chance to experience NCAA competition with her teammates was an awesome feeling.

“I didn’t really know what to expect my very first competition,” she said, of the Gators’ season-opening victory over North Carolina State. “I just went into it with an open mind and tried to enjoy the experience.

“In elite, it’s very individualized, but here you’re doing it for your team and you don’t want to let them down – knowing you’re all in it together is awesome.”

Chant noted the rehab of her ankle injury is going slower than she’d like, but she expects to be back competing in the next couple of weeks.

Once her ankle is healed, Chant is looking forward to helping the team succeed.

“Just to contribute to any events they need me on,” she said, adding her strongest event is vault. “I train all of them, so wherever they need me, I’m happy to go and represent the team.”

The Gators currently sport a 4-1 record and are ranked third in the nation. The regular season runs until March, with the Southeastern Conference Championships taking place March 18.

For the rest of the season, Chant said the team’s goal is to be consistent – with an eye on winning the NCAA Championships in April in St. Louis, MO.

“Just take it one competition at the time,” Chant said. “Our goal is to go to the championships, do our best and hopefully win the national title.”

Waterdown gymnast Maegan Chant enjoying freshman year in NCAA

Community Feb 09, 2017 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

Maegan Chant is on the mend in her freshman season with the University of Florida’s gymnastics team.

The 19-year-old Waterdown native injured her ankle and has only been able to compete in two competitions this year with the Gators, but said despite the injury, the season has been really good.

“They were amazing experiences,” she said. “A completely new atmosphere – especially competing with a team, it’s very encouraging.

“They’ve got your back and they’re there to support you and encourage you through it.”

However, the move to the NCAA ranks wasn’t made completely without challenges.

“It was a huge adjustment, just getting used to the new place and new people,” Chant said. “But I’ve adjusted really well and I’m loving it here so far.”

The Pan American Games silver medallist said the biggest challenge was moving away from home for the first time – and to a new country.

“Just leaving my family and living on my own for the first time,” she noted. “Adjusting to all the school work and balancing my training schedule with school.”

While Chant said the Gators squad doesn’t train as much as she did in the elite world, the team trains four times a week, in addition to conditioning. As well, Chant said, the coaching and training staff in Florida is great.

She noted the team usually travels on Thursdays, to compete on Fridays in head-to-head matches against other NCAA schools.

“We go up against another school every Friday,” she said. “We’ll compete in all four events as a team.”

Six of the team members will compete in each event – vault, bars, beam and floor exercise – with the top five scores factored into the total.

“I am training everything and I was competing everything but beam for the first two competitions,” she said. “Now I’m just trying to rehab my ankle to get back into the lineup.”

Chant’s bid for a spot on Team Canada at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games was also derailed by an ankle injury.

She took the year off between graduating high school and attending the University of Florida to focus on gymnastics – with an eye on Rio. But she suffered an ankle injury prior to Olympic trials.

“So I wasn’t fully prepared, but I still wanted to finish what I started and still try,” said Chant.

“Just being able to compete with the top girls was a really neat experience.”

Chant said it was a bit painful to watch the Games on television.

“It was definitely not easy,” she said. “But I still wanted to support them.”

Chant didn’t do any school work during the year she spent focusing on gymnastics, but said the transition back to an academic mindset was less difficult than she had anticipated.

“The school work is super hard here – there’s so much to do, balancing everything – but it was more smooth than I thought it was going to be.”

The 5’ 3” gymnast said she doesn’t have to declare a major until her sophomore year, but noted she’s considered going into nursing.

Although she has only been able to get into two competitions so far, Chant said the chance to experience NCAA competition with her teammates was an awesome feeling.

“I didn’t really know what to expect my very first competition,” she said, of the Gators’ season-opening victory over North Carolina State. “I just went into it with an open mind and tried to enjoy the experience.

“In elite, it’s very individualized, but here you’re doing it for your team and you don’t want to let them down – knowing you’re all in it together is awesome.”

Chant noted the rehab of her ankle injury is going slower than she’d like, but she expects to be back competing in the next couple of weeks.

Once her ankle is healed, Chant is looking forward to helping the team succeed.

“Just to contribute to any events they need me on,” she said, adding her strongest event is vault. “I train all of them, so wherever they need me, I’m happy to go and represent the team.”

The Gators currently sport a 4-1 record and are ranked third in the nation. The regular season runs until March, with the Southeastern Conference Championships taking place March 18.

For the rest of the season, Chant said the team’s goal is to be consistent – with an eye on winning the NCAA Championships in April in St. Louis, MO.

“Just take it one competition at the time,” Chant said. “Our goal is to go to the championships, do our best and hopefully win the national title.”