Centenary Places Fifth with Ball, Menne, and Racioppi Earning All-American Honors
Thursday, April 14, 2005



ITHACA, NY. - Centenary’s gymnastics team performed exceptionally well during the opening round of the 2005 USA Gymnastics Collegiate Nationals hosted by Cornell University on Thursday evening at the Newman Arena. The team missed the finals by .025 points placing fifth on the first day of competition. Juniors Sarah Ball and Sarah Raciooppi and sophomore Kristina Menne received All-American status by placing inside the top eight of their respective events.

University of California-Davis claimed top honors, finishing with 193.550 points, followed by Seattle Pacific with 191.550. Rutgers was third with 191.275 points, followed by Texas Woman’s (190.450), Centenary (190.425), Cornell (190), Air Force (187.625), and Alaska-Anchorage (186.850).

       “I am so proud of the team as each athlete poured their heart and soul into their performances," said Head Coach Bill Hardy. “The combination of one too many mistakes and tough competition from eight talented teams proved to be a difficult obstacle as we came up just short.”

Ball began the meet for the Ladies on the bars registering a 9.30 followed by Laura Wright sticking her landing for a solid 9.650. Menne led the event with a 9.70 while Jessie Angus added a 9.675 to the team’s overall 47.775 points.

Centenary moved on to the beam where Menne scored a 9.625 while senior Tara Mitchell registered a 9.550 accumulating a team total of 46.975.

Entering their third event, the Ladies dazzled the crowd with a spectacular showing on the floor as every gymnast scored a 9.550 or higher. Sarah Racioppi led the onslaught with a 9.750 showing trailed by Menne and Ball’s 9.650 routines.

The Ladies wrapped up the meet on the vault where freshman Meredith Smith received a 9.600 and Mitchell came through once again for the team with a 9.525 performance.

Menne earned All-American honors for the second consecutive year by placing third in the all-round with 38.425 points along with teammate Ball who tied for eighth yielding 37.525 points.

Racioppi will use her past two years of experience as she takes to the floor for the second consecutive year on Saturday afternoon competing for the national championship floor title. The junior from Lawrenceville, Ga. was a 2004 All-American on floor and beam and has taken home runner-up honors during the finals for the past two years on the floor.