Gymnastics Kicks off 2008 Season at the Air Force Academy
Thursday, January 17, 2008

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—The Centenary gymnastics team will get its first taste of competition this weekend when it travels to take on the Air Force Academy. The Ladies will compete against the Falcons on Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.


Centenary returns USA Gymnastics all-Americans in senior Meredith Smith (vault), juniors Mandy Bennett (bars), Bethannie Bowie (beam), and Julia Cornelius (bars & beam), and sophomore Courtney Hawkins (vault). Sophomore Whitney Daugherty also returns after taking her place in the lineup on the vault and floor exercises in her debut season.


The Ladies captured third place in last year’s USAG National Championships and look to make a strong bid for the title this season with eight newcomers. Also, for the first time, Centenary will host the USAG title event in the Gold Dome beginning April 17th.


Bill Hardy enters his eighth season at the helm of the Ladies gymnastics program and has added an exceptional recruiting class to the roster in 2008. Makensie Lant, Laura Loy, Tamara Mayer, Tara Sandoval, Marisa Schneider, Kameron Turner, Maille Vetros, and Alyssa Zawieja comprise the largest and deepest freshman class for Centenary in recent history.   


The Ladies struggled at times last season when injuries took their toll, but the current Ladies squad should have enough depth to be able to effectively handle any adversity. Centenary has a unique blend of young talent (10 underclassmen) and experience (four upperclassmen), but only have one senior (Smith) on the roster. Meaning this group of young ladies has a chance to be successful for years to come.