Ladies Gymnastics Set to Defend USAG Title
Wednesday, April 13, 2005



ITHACA, New York--The Centenary Ladies gymnastics team arrived on Tuesday in Ithaca, New York, for the 2005 USA Gymnastics National Championships hosted by Cornell University. This year's squad is ready to defend their 2004 USAG title in hopes of sending their seniors off in style. The Ladies begin the team competition on Thursday with the top four teams advancing to the finals on Friday. Individuals that place in the top eight on their respective events advance to the event finals on Saturday.

Centenary enters their title defense as the #1 ranked team in the USAG division with a regional qualifying score (RQS) of 193.290. In addition, the Ladies rank first on the floor exercise (48.945) and the balance beam (48.090) while placing second on the vault (48.165) and third on the uneven bars (47.915).

Seniors Jennie Jackson and Tara Mitchell have been to several USAG Championships and will provide experience and leadership to a team that sports seven underclassmen on its 12-man roster. Jackson was an All-American and National Champion last year after winning the uneven bars while Mitchell was an All-American in the all-around.

Junior Sarah Racioppi currently ranks second among all USAG floor competitors with a RQS of 9.860. Racioppi is also one the Ladies biggest threats on the balance beam after earning All-American status on both events last season.

Kristina Menne is fresh off of her second trip in as many years to an NCAA Regional after qualifying as an individual. The sophomore leads the USAG division in the all-around (38.950) and the floor exercise (9.885) while ranking second on the bars (9.765). At the 2004 championships, she won the all-around and earned All-American accolades on the uneven bars and the balance beam.

You can follow the 2005 USAG National Championships live on the internet at
http://cornellbigred.collegesports.com/sports/w-gym/spec-rel/041205aae.html.