Tom Smart, Deseret News
Utah's Georgia Dabritz is hugged by Kassandra Lopez during a win over Utah State earlier this season.

Freshman gymnast Georgia Dabritz ranks No. 1 in the nation on the floor exercise and has helped the Red Rocks jump to No. 2 in the preseason rankings. Deseret News writer Melissa Yack interviewed her on Friday.

Q: What was it like to earn a 10 from one judge on the floor exercise in your first meet in the Huntsman Center?

A: It was exciting, but I really didn't know what was going on at first because I was turned around the other way. I heard everybody cheering and thought it was for the other gymnast competing on beam. Megan (Marsden) turned me around to see the 10 and my team was screaming and pointing to the 9.975 overall score. The fans and my team made it even more exciting because they were so excited.

Q: Why did you choose the University of Utah over others schools that recruited you?

A: I had watched the team in meets before and knew how good they were. I really knew I wanted to be someplace where the team was this competitive and talented. When Greg (Marsden) started recruiting me I had narrowed my choice down to two schools. I had never been to Utah, but when I visited the campus my mom and I both knew this was the best place for me. The campus is beautiful and the team was great to meet with. I just felt like this was a place I could have fun and be competitive.

Q: Having grown up in the east (Massachusetts) what do you like about Utah so far?

A: I was here for summer workouts with some of my teammates (Kassandra Lopez, Kailah Delaney and Becky Tutka) and we decided to take a camping class on campus. We went hiking for the class and got to explore the Utah Mountains. It is so pretty here and the people are so nice. There was some culture shock with the slower pace of everything, but I've gotten used to it and like it. Also, the shopping is cheaper than in Boston.

Q: Were you destined to be a gymnast given your family history?

A: My older brother is competing at the University of Minnesota now and my sister and parents all competed at some point, while my mom still coaches. My family never pushed me to be a gymnast. They always supported me and let me make my own decisions. I think they could tell I had fun in the gym and saw I had some talent. It's really neat to share the experiences with them because they can relate. I guess you could say I was destined to be a gymnast.

Q: You had a successful elite career, what are some of your favorite memories from those experiences?

A: It wasn't nearly as successful as my teammate Corrie Lothrop's since she almost went to the Olympics, but winning the Junior Championship (all-around title) was neat. To be competing in those competitions was amazing because you knew it was with some of the best competition in the country. I also really enjoyed traveling and getting closer to my coach and family. I loved visiting new places even though I didn't get to spend much time outside of the gym.