South African Nicole Szabo has already made her presence felt on the United States gymnastics scene, writes Mark Etheridge.
And her US experience has certainly started off with a bang. She finished her first semester with two distinctions.
When she wasn’t buried in the books she was firing for the university’s gymnastics team, that goes by the name of the Flames.
The collegiate competition season started in January and continues to the end of March and early April. In this period the team will compete at home on five occasions and hit the road for eight away trips.
This week Szabo, who has high hopes of competing at the 2015 Universiade in South Korea, was honoured to be named Specialist of the Week by the Midwest Independent Conference.
That was after she scored a season high of 9.825 on the uneven bars and 9.75 on the floor in the competition against Lindenwood University. On top of that she was also tied for first on uneven bars.
Szabo is already a seasoned veteran of the SA gymnastics scene having competed around the world and one of her best results was finishing sixth on the uneven bars at the 2011 Doha Challenge Cup.
Szabo’s father, Miklos was the gymnastics coach of Team South Africa at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.