Ladies Gymnastics Introduces Three Newcomers for the 2019 Season

Ladies Gymnastics Introduces Three Newcomers for the 2019 Season

The Centenary Ladies Gymnastics Team, under the direction of eighth year head coach Jackie Fain, introduced the three newcomers for the 2019 season Thursday, October 18. The three newcomers are Xian Baumgartner from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kendall Knapps from Prairieville, Louisiana, and Kendall Sanders from Bulverde, Texas.

"I am very pleased to announce our 2018 incoming freshmen class! Each of these young ladies brings a skill set to our current team, which will help us become stronger," explained Coach Fain. "I am not only excited about this groups gymnastics, but also the potential they bring. I am eager to work with each of them and help them to continue to improve throughout their collegiate careers. Not only do they possess the physical talent we are seeking, but they are also great students, exceptionally hard workers, and have the type of character we desire to continue to make our team better."


Here is a closer look at the three newcomers for Ladies Gymnastics:


Xian Baumgartner

Fr. / All-Around

Albuquerque, N.M. / 5-5 / Sandia HS

G-Force Gymnastics


Baumgartner competed in club gymnastics for head coaches Lisa Gravelle and Giana Springer at G-Force Gymnastics in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She qualified for Regionals every year from 2011-2018. Awards during her career include a Varsity Gymnastics Letter, Gymnast of the Year in 2018, recognition as Outstanding on Bars in 2016, and the Judges Choice Award at the 2018 PGA meet. She also placed on bars at Regionals in 2017.


High scores before coming to Centenary:

Vault – 9.2

Bars – 9.3

Beam – 9.35

Floor – 9.025

All-Around – 36.25


Academically, Baumgartner received the All-Academic Award and earned a Sports Medicine Varsity Letter after putting in more than 250 clinical hours.

Xian is the daughter of Kasandra Carter-Baumgartner and Anthony Skrypka and has a brother, Zoe Baumgartner. At Centenary, she is majoring in biology.


What is your favorite event and why: My favorite event is beam because of the challenge of learning new tricks.

Why did you Choose Centenary: I chose Centenary because of the great opportunities available to me, both academically and athletically.

Coach Fain on Xian: Xi is a powerhouse! The first time I saw her do gymnastics in person, I nicknamed her the "Princess Warrior," not only because of her power, but also her grace and her presence. She will make an immediate impact on our bars lineup, and if preseason goes smoothly, should be one of our top bar workers. She has a lot of talent left to develop, and I am looking forward to helping her continue to grow as a gymnast. Xian has such a bubbly personality, her smile is contagious, and she sees everything in such a positive light that is going to rub off on everyone around her! I am excited to add her dynamic to our team.

Kendall Knaps

Fr. / 5-5 / All-Around

Prairieville, La. / Dutchtown HS

Athletes in Motion


Knaps competed for the Athletes in Motion gym club and head coaches Shelley Swanson and Michelle Wag in Prairieville, Louisiana. She qualified for Regionals every year between 2015-2018, competing at Eastern Nationals in level 9 in 2016. She also qualified for Regionals on floor from 2009-2011 and for the 2010 Western Nationals and the 2011 Junior Olympic Nationals on the apparatus. In 2016, she won on beam at the Regionals and Eastern Nationals. Also at Nationals that year, she finished as a silver medalist on floor.


High scores before coming to Centenary:

Vault – 9.625

Bars – 9.45

Beam – 9.5

Floor – 9.6


Academically, she was on the Honor Roll, an Academic Letterman, and in Honors and AP classes while at Dutchtown High School.

Kendall is the daughter of Caroline and Randy Knaps and has two siblings, Russell and Mitchell. At Centenary, she is majoring in communication.


Coach Fain on Kendall Knaps: Kendall is a solid four-event gymnast. She is from Louisiana, and I am always excited to welcome our home state athletes! Again, I see a lot of potential in Kendall, and I am excited to see how her gymnastics improves with her new team.  She will help us on bars immediately, and will be in the running on the other three events. She competed high school gymnastics, which is also a team situation, so I feel she will be a good leader amongst her classmates in helping them adjust to the team mentality this year. She is eager to improve and brings a certain joy to her gymnastics, which will come across to the fans and the judges in a positive way.

Kendall Sanders

Fr. / 5-1 / All-Around

Bulverde, Texas / Smithson Valley HS

VIP Gymnastics


Sanders competed for VIP Gymnastics club team and head coaches Casey and Angie Boice and Mike Beaufait. She qualified for Regionals each year from 2012-2018, including qualifying for the Western Nationals in 2015. Competing at level 10, won the all-around at Jock Jamz, the Rock Solid Invitational, and level 10 State in 2018. She also reached the Alamo Classic level 10 finals on beam.

High scores before coming to Centenary:

Vault – 9.375

Bars – 9.1

Beam – 9.425

Floor – 9.375

All-Around – 36.9


Academically, she is a National Honors Society inductee and a Family and Community Services Member.

Kendall is the daughter of Dewayne and Brandi Sanders and has two siblings, Corey and Kyle. At Centenary, she is majoring in biology. 


What is your favorite event and why: My favorite event is floor because I love to dance, as well as tumble. It is an event that you can show your personality and have fun with.

Why did you Choose Centenary: I chose Centenary because of the gymnastics program and the size of the school. The small class size allows for learning opportunities you would not receive at a big university. When I visited the school, I fell in love with the people and campus. The success rate of graduates being able to find a job or continue their education shows the students are held to a high standard in order to become successful.

Coach Fain on Kendall Sanders: My first opportunity to see Kendall compete was probably the worst meet of her life; but, what struck me then and why I pursued recruiting her was her attitude during that meet! She never gave up, got mad, or blamed anyone else: she just put her head down and pushed through the next event with a smile on her face and a determination to try again. That is the kind of attitude any coach would want on their team! Not only did I see a great attitude that day, but I saw so much potential in this young woman. I couldn't wait to get her to Centenary to begin her career as a gymnast! Kendall comes from a small club, and I know being a member of our team is going to inspire her and push her to greater heights than she has ever dreamed.

#MIChamps19 Web Site
March 20, 2019 #MIChamps19 Web Site