Jan. 14, 2013
PARK RIDGE, ILL. -- Minnesota junior gymnast Kayla Slechta has been named the women's gymnastics Event Specialist of the Week by the Big Ten Conference for the week ending Jan. 12, it was announced on Monday.
Slechta helped Minnesota record its highest-ever team total in a season-opening meet by winning two events during the Gophers' 195.550-193.500 win over No. 17 Washington. Slechta narrowly missed a perfect score on vault, as she received a 10.0 from the head judge, but a 9.900 from the second judge for a career-best 9.950. She then scored a 9.875 on floor to tie for first with senior teammate Janell Campbell.
For her efforts, Slechta was honored as the Most Vital Performer of the meet, helping Minnesota open its season with a win for the first time since 2009. The Gophers have since jumped all the way to 11th in the most recent GymInfo Top 25 Rankings.
It marks the third time in Slechta's career that she's been recognized by the Big Ten for a weekly honor, and she's just the second-ever recipient of the Event Specialist award, which was added this year. Others recognized by the conference office included Michigan junior Joanna Sampson as the Gymnast of the Week and Penn State's Samantha Musto as the Freshman of the Week.
Minnesota travels to Penn State this weekend for a 6:00 p.m. CT quad meet with the Nittany Lions, Kent State and Towson. The Gophers then return home to face Michigan, Central Michigan and Iowa State on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sports Pavilion.
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