Senior Snapshot: Erinn Dooley
Published: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 9:52 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 9:52 a.m.
UF gymnast and fifth-year senior Erinn Dooley, known as "Dooley" to her coaches and teammates, has a lot to smile about. She is a six time All-American athlete and is co-captain for a team of girls who greatly look up to her.
Currently suffering from a stress fracture in her left foot that keeps her in limited competition, Dooley hopes to be back competing on one or two more events to end her last collegiate season on a good note.
"It's nice being the senior and having that authority on the team and being acknowledged as a senior," Dooley said. "I think I'm lucky that I have this fifth year because it's gotten me ready to be done. When my time comes, I'll be ready to move on."
Throughout her time as a Gator, Dooley has earned six All-American honors, turned in UF's third-highest all-around total ever in the 2004 regular season with a 39.75, and competed in the 2004 NCAA Individual Event finals for vault, where she tied for fourth, and beam placing ninth.
As a freshman, Dooley fractured her right tibia while warming up for the Super Six Challenge, a premier gymnastics showcase and the season opener for the Gators. She sat out the rest of the season and received a medical hardship.
Now, four years later as a red shirt Senior, Dooley has earned many accolades and titles in her time at UF, but she still is humble about the possibility of another injury hampering her final season.
"All I can do right now is hope for the best. It's still early in the season," Dooley said. "I just have to keep my head held high and think positively about the injury and do everything I can do. But if it doesn't happen, I'll just be happy with what I get."
It's that positive attitude that Head Coach Rhonda Faehn thinks makes Erinn Dooley not only an outstanding athlete but a source of wisdom and advice for the team's large number of freshmen.
"Erinn Dooley is definitely one of our most recognized and accomplished seniors," Faehn said. "She brings a lot of leadership and not only that, her athletic ability is amazing. It's nice to know that the girls can go to Dooley, especially with injuries, and they can share their frustration and Dooley can share with them how to cope and move on."
Erinn also takes a sense of responsibility in looking out for her younger teammates. "I love my teammates, she beams. " They're an awesome group of girls and it is a young team so whatever I can do to help them is what I want to do and I hope it works out for them."
The thing Dooley can expect in her last collegiate season, before leaving UF to move either to New York or back home to Maryland, will be to compete with her team in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in front of adoring and cheering Gator fans. The Super Six Challenge hosted by UF on Jan. 7 garnered over 8,000 fans, the second-largest crowd in UF gymnastics history
"My favorite moment as a Gator is just competing here in the O'Connell Center and having your friends and fans and your family being here supporting you and having your teammates cheer their brains out for you. You just want to cry and you get chills because people have come to see your team, the Gators, and come to see you."
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