Centenary Gymnastics Wins First USAG National Championship
Saturday, April 10, 2004

Denton, Tex.—The Centenary Ladies gymnastics team added to their list of firsts accomplished in the 2003-04 season on Saturday. The team finished the regular season ranked first in the USAG standings, sent an individual to an NCAA regional, placed first after the opening round at the USAG championship event, and now, the team has won a USAG National Championship, all for the first time.


2004 USAG Championship Gymnastics Team from Centenary College of Louisiana

Pictured after capturing the USAG Championship at the tournament hosted by Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas, on April 10 are: (left to right, back row) Assistant Coach Bonnie Kulosa, Tara Mitchell, Laura Wright, Jessie Angus, Kaela Meinert, Kristina Menne, and Head Coach Bill Hardy, and (front row) Jessica Hayes, Jennie Jackson, Sarah Ball, Sarah Racioppi, and Carmen Reid.


Heading into the event as the favorite did not faze the Ladies as they posted a 193.500 to best the host school, Texas Woman’s University, by nine-tenths of a point. The meet was still within question after two rotations but the Ladies used a 9.800 from Kaela Meinert on the beam to acquire a .350 lead.

Centenary pulled out the victory with a dominant performance on the floor exercise where they scored a 49.200 as a team and dropped a low score of 9.800. TWU dropped a 9.250 and was forced to keep a 9.275 to allow the Ladies to gain a .550 advantage and clinch the championship.

Kristina Menne and Tara Mitchell posted solid all-around performances to pace the Ladies with scores of 38.700 and 38.775 respectively. Sarah Racioppi ended the meet with a bang as she totaled a 9.925 on the floor exercise for Centenary.

Eight Ladies will advance to compete in the individual championships with the possibility of as many as ten Centenary gymnasts participating on the final day, as two more are alternates on an event. Last year three Ladies earned All-American status while five received the honor this season.