Off to college: Gymnast Rachel Henderson takes fast route to Missouri

Rachel Henderson thought her gymnastics career was over less than a year ago. Then, she decided to resume training and completed two years of high school in one through self-based private school Epic Charter.
by Ryan Aber Published: August 5, 2012

Less than a year ago, Rachel Henderson thought her gymnastics career was over.

Family issues and a move from Tulsa to Oklahoma City had put the sport in the background.

But last fall, Henderson's mom picked her up after finishing work and took Rachel for a drive.

They turned into Mat Trotters Gymnastics and went in to watch a practice.

Henderson had known the gym's owners and coaches, Jeff and Trish Carter, for many years.

Now, she wanted to resume training again after five months off.

“It was pretty tough,” Henderson said. “The first day, I tried to do my big skills and my body was just out of it and I was missing everything.”

Nine months later, though, the 17-year-old is at Missouri after signing a gymnastics scholarship with the Tigers.

“To get herself back into shape and learn some new skill and compete at the level she did was incredible,” Jeff Carter said.

It didn't just take a lot of work in the gym to get Henderson to that point, though.

She also had to put in plenty of time into school work.

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by Ryan Aber
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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