by Mariel White, UF Athletics Communications
Entering her senior season, All-American Rachel Gowey felt more prepared than ever. This athlete’s growth has elevated the team to new levels and will continue to shine as she closes out an incredible 2020 season.
Coach Jenny Rowland has seen Gowey “take her senior year and hit it head-on in a very positive way.” Coach Rowland typically sees two types of athletes coming out of their last season, one who puts too much pressure on herself but doesn’t get the results she hoped for, and one who makes the most of it and has the best season of her life, and that’s the route that she has seen Rachel take.
Gowey has portrayed significant growth throughout her career as a Florida gymnast, and it has paid off as her skills have advanced every year. She is most proud of becoming an All-American athlete as a sophomore, something that she had altered her entire lifestyle to achieve, including her diet and sleeping habits.
Becoming a student athlete is something that Rachel has loved, but it has come with its own challenges. She anticipated an easier transition coming from elite gymnastics but found that “[college gymnastics] is definitely a different kind of hard.”
Rachel has also learned to ask for help when she needs it and to utilize the resources she is provided. As a student athlete, Gowey has access to the Hawkins Center, which provides many diverse resources to these collegiate athletes. Rachel can benefit from tutoring services, which she has taken advantage of in classes like biomechanics, a class that she says is like a foreign language, writing labs, resume building, and mock interviews.
One mentor who has impacted Rachel throughout her college career is her roommate, Amelia Hundley. Gowey says that her mom often tells her to be more like Amelia in her optimism and determination to better herself, and now sees the ways that Hundley has rubbed off on her throughout the years.
Gowey has also served as a mentor in her nature to be brutally honest when asked for advice. “I’m hoping I’m helping them move in the right direction and make themselves better,” and although she may be stating the harsh reality, Rachel genuinely wants the best for her teammates.
She hopes to continue to help athletes by attending graduate school to become a chiropractor. As a young athlete, Rachel has consistently worked with a chiropractor in order to align her body and keep it healthy, and this has had a big influence on her career aspirations. “I’d like the opportunity to help athletes be the best that they can be,” says Gowey, who plans to attend grad school in March 2021 after completing an internship in Gainesville.
But before that, Gowey will leave it all on the floor in front of Gator Nation and hopes to make it her best performance yet. You may see her at Panera Bread as she consumes her last pre-game meal before her final debut in The Swamp!