Gymnastics Hosts Southeast Missouri State for Senior Night
Friday, February 23, 2018

SHREVEPORT, La. The Centenary Ladies Gymnastics team will complete its five-meet home stand Friday night, February 23, against Midwest Independent Conference (MIC) rival Southeast Missouri State. The meet will also be the final home competition for seniors Ashley White and Kaity Mussio.

Ladies vs Southeast Missouri State: Live Updates | Live Video

 

Ladies honor a Pair of Gymnasts

Friday will mark the final home meet for a pair of Ladies gymnasts. White and Mussio have been named Scholastic All-Americans by the National Association of Gymnastic Coaches (NAGC), as well as MIC Academic All-Conference, a collective five times.

“It is so hard to believe Ashley and Kaity are seniors!  They were certainly a couple of fresh-faced, excited young women when they first walked on campus four years ago; it is amazing to see the growth each of them has had while they have been at Centenary,” said head coach Jackie Fain.

“As the class of 2018, they have brought so much to this team. They are both very dedicated students and athletes; they have left a mark on this program with their passion, work ethic, and dedication to the sport! While they have both shown how hard work can improve their athleticism, they have brought that same passion to everything they have done while at Centenary. I believe they have each left a mark on this campus in their respective academics and activities as well,” added Fain.

Mussio, a bars specialist for the Ladies, received Centenary’s prestigious Nan Christian Scholarship for full tuition prior to her enrollment in the College. She is majoring in chemistry and French with a minor in gender studies. While with the Ladies, she has appeared on both the NAGC and conference Scholar Lists for her first three seasons – which includes a 4.0 her freshman year. She helped the Ladies improve from 27th to 11th in the country in GPA among gymnastics teams from her sophomore to junior years, the highest ranking for the Ladies in at least a decade.

In her time with Centenary, she has received numerous honors, including the Verba J. Schwab Memorial Award in Leadership and an award for Outstanding Achievement in Analytical Chemistry. She is also a member of the La Légion Louisianaise, the French Honor Society for Louisiana.

Mussio spent two summers at LSU in an analytical chemistry laboratory doing protein biochemistry research. Her research group’s findings were published in the Journal of Chromatography, an article which she authored. With Centenary, she studied abroad in both China and Taiwan.

“Kaity is THE most passionate young woman I have ever coached,” said coach Fain. “She came in here with a determination and a fire to get better, and she has continued to fight to improve every day – sometimes fighting me, but always pushing to get better. She has grown exponentially through the process! She is an example of what hard work looks like: a determined person who will let nothing stand in her way. Kaity has given her heart to this program; and for that, I will forever be grateful.  She is not only passionate about gymnastics, but about her future career and her goal to save the world. I am so proud of how Kaity has paved her own path for her future and am excited to see what greatness she will achieve in the years to come!”

During her Centenary career, Mussio’s favorite memory was experiencing her very first home collegiate gymnastics meet with Ashley her freshman year.

Following graduation, Mussio plans to attend graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in global and environmental health sciences, most likely at the University of California at Berkeley

Meanwhile, White will graduate from Centenary as one of the most accomplished gymnasts in at least a decade. In her junior campaign, she became the first Ladies gymnast to qualify for NCAA postseason competition in the all-around twice and was the only Division III gymnast to compete in an NCAA Regional in 2017. An eight-time USA Gymnastics All-American and a two-time All-Conference performer, she has finished in the top-3 of an event 68 times during her Centenary career.

She received a career best 32.000 in the All-Around at the USAG National Championships her sophomore year, the fourth-best total in program history and the best mark in more than a decade. White finished second at the USAG Championships her junior season with a career best of 9.875 on beam. White also has career bests of 9.875 on vault and floor, with a best of 9.850 on bars.

“Ashley will leave here this year as one of the most decorated gymnasts to ever graduate from Centenary in the five decades of the program!  She is a relentless athlete; talented, yes, but as we know, talent will only take you so far,” said Fain. “Ashley is determined, focused, dedicated, coachable, competitive, and always rises to the occasion. She is one of those rare athletes that is the full package. On top of that, Ashley is also a dedicated student who has also achieved many great things outside of gymnastics. She is highly respected on Centenary’s campus as a member of the Maroon Jackets and the Vice President of Order of the Omega.  I have been blessed to coach Ashley these past four years. She will be missed, but we are also excited to see what great things she will do on her next journey in life.”

White has many accomplishments in the classroom, as well. Finishing Academic All-MIC and NAGC Scholastic All-American her sophomore and junior seasons, she received Academic All-District recognition by the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America in 2017. She has appeared on the College’s Dean’s List for four semesters.

Her favorite memory as a Centenary gymnast is when LSU came to the Gold Dome during her freshman season. Competing in front of one of the largest crowds ever for Centenary gymnastics, the Ladies received a season high team score. She is also glad she has had the opportunity to go to Alaska twice in her collegiate career.

Following graduation, she plans to attend graduate school for social work and will be getting married in August 2018.

 

Next Up

Mussio, White, and the rest of the Ladies return to action Sunday, February 25, for a quad meet at Texas Woman’s. Besides Centenary and the host Pioneers, Southeast Missouri State and Bridgeport will take part with first rotation set for 2 p.m.