To Defer or Not to Defer: Brenna Dowell and Elizabeth Price

Photo by Elizabeth Price via Instagram
Photo by Elizabeth Price via Instagram

Coming off of a great performance at the AT&T American Cup, Brenna Dowell and Elizabeth Price look to the future. They are both committed to collegiate gymnastics and were slated to begin competing NCAA this fall. With a great showing at the American Cup, they are both strong contenders for the 2014 World Championship team. But will they still be competing elite in the fall to even make a go of it?

Price is committed to Stanford. In January, she told Allie of Double Double Gym Blog that she had not yet decided if she would defer her scholarship until 2015.

Stanford was one of my top choices for college ever since I started looking at schools, and I knew gymnasts that went there who told me great things about the school, so I knew a lot about Stanford even before I went to visit. I decided to go there because I felt that Stanford is a great academic institution with a great gymnastics team. I haven’t decided yet whether or not I’m going to defer until 2015, but I still have time to think about it and make that decision later.

In the interview, Price went on to say that her goals for 2014 were to compete in more international meets, including another World Cup meet. After attaining her goal of competing in another World Cup so soon in the 2014 season, Price seems to have set her sights higher. In a post meet interview after the AT&T American Cup, she told Andrea Joyce of NBC, “I know a lot of great gymnasts have won this competition, so it is great to say that I am one of those girls. Hopefully I can soon say that I have won even bigger meets than this one.”

That being said, Price is not yet ready to make a decision about deferring. In the mixed zone, she told Gymnastike, “I haven’t decided whether I am going this fall or deferring a year or whatever, but I still have a lot of time to make that decision.”

Brenna Dowell is committed to the University of Oklahoma. She talked about her college choice with Arabian Punch Front.

I didn’t want to go too far from home. I wanted it to be driving distance so I visited a few schools that were close. I really like KJ and Lou. They were really nice and they made me feel like they really wanted to me to be on their team. I really liked the atmosphere and, from the people who I know that go there, I heard nothing but good things about it so I’m really excited to go.

Unlike Price, Dowell has made her decision on deferring. Following the American Cup, she told Gymnastike, “I am going to defer this year and try for the 2014 World Team.”

What she hasn’t decided is how long she will defer. According to Arabian Punch Front, her plans are to take it one step at a time. “Long term – I’m just taking it one year at a time and then I’ll decide what to do once it comes around. It’s my senior year this year. I’m going to defer college to try for Worlds this year and then I’ll decide what to do next year. 2016, yeah, I’m not sure yet.”

That seems like a good plan in a sport as precarious as gymnastics and in a country where it is harder to make an World or Olympic team than it is to medal once you are there.