Ladies Gymnastics Set for Return Trip to USAG Nationals
Monday, April 10, 2006

Kristina Menne

Sarah Ball

Meredith Smith

Bethannie Bowie

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary gymnastics team will be heading to Ithaca, New York, for the USA Gymnastics National Championships on Tuesday. The three-day event begins on the campus of Cornell University on Thursday and for the sixth consecutive year the Ladies will be one of the eight qualifying teams to compete for the crown. The Maroon and White brought the USAG title home to Shreveport just two short years ago.


The Ladies rank fifth in the USAG standings heading into the championship event with a regional qualifying score (RQS) of 189.660. Texas Woman’s University (191.530), UC Davis (191.085), Rutgers (191.060), and Seattle Pacific (190.785) round out the top four in the rankings. Centenary has the third best team scoring average on the floor exercise at 47.925 and is fifth on the vault with an average of 47.780. The team is sixth on the balance beam and seventh on the uneven bars with averages of 47.200 and 47.070 respectively.


Individually the Ladies are led by junior Kristina Menne, senior Sarah Ball, and sophomore Meredith Smith. Ball is a solid contributor on all four events and ranks eighth overall in the USAG Division in the all-around. Smith, Centenary’s most improved gymnast as voted by her peers, is second on the vault with a RQS of 9.765 and seventh on the floor exercise with a 9.665.


Menne started the year battling an injury but has regained the form that led her to several USAG All-American accolades as well as back-to-back trips to the NCAA Regionals. She is second in the all-around at 38.500, third on the beam with a 9.685, and third on the floor with a 9.750.


Although the Ladies are excited to be back in the championship hunt, one particular member of the team is especially looking forward to the trip. Freshman Bethannie Bowie is from Binghamton, New York, and for her this jaunt is a homecoming of sorts. Along with some familiar voices providing cheers from the crowd, the return home could provide some lasting memories for Bowie and the Ladies if the team can manage to bring back another championship trophy.