Ladies Gymnastics Ready to Compete for USAG Title
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

SEATTLE—The Centenary gymnastics team will begin competition in the 2007 USA Gymnastics National Championships hosted by Seattle Pacific University on Thursday. The Ladies are appearing in the event for the seventh straight year under Coach Bill Hardy, who has led the program to nationals in every season during his tenure. The Ladies won the USAG crown in 2004 and look for a good showing this time around as well.


Centenary will be seeded fifth in the eight-team event with a regional qualifying score of 190.245. The other participants include No. 1 seed Towson (193.720), No. 2 Texas Woman’s University (192.110), No. 3 Rutgers (191.770), No. 4 Seattle Pacific (191.680), No. 6 Cornell (189.940), No. 7 Temple (189.580), and No. 8 William & Mary (188.490).


The Ladies will take part in the first session of the preliminary round beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday. The team will directly compete against Towson, Temple, and Rutgers with the top two highest team scores advancing to the team finals on Friday at 7 p.m. The top five individuals (plus ties) from events in each session return Saturday afternoon for the event finals.


Seniors Kristina Menne and Jessie Angus will lead the Maroon and White into their final trip to the USAG Nationals. Both gymnasts were members of the 2004 squad that brought back the national championship to Centenary. Menne has also enjoyed individual success in the competition in the past as she has been named an All-American seven times and was the 2004 All-Around National Champion.


In addition, junior Meredith Smith returns to defend her title as the 2006 Vault National Champion for Centenary and sophomore Julia Cornelius earned All-American accolades last year on the beam.


Over the course of the season, Angus has emerged as the Ladies top performer on both the uneven bars and balance beam. She enters the meet ranked ninth (9.720) and 16th (9.635) respectively in the USAG Division on the events.


Smith and Menne both rank eighth amongst their USAG peers. Smith is averaging a score of 9.740 on the beam while Menne is scoring a 38.230 on average in the all-around. Freshman Courtney Hawkins leads Centenary on the floor exercise with a 9.705 to rank 14th.