The University of Minnesota women's gymnastics team celebrated the 2012 season at the annual awards banquet on Sunday morning. Sophomore Dusti Russell garnered the team's Most Valuable Performer Award while freshman Kylie Schermann was named the Most Improved Award. Amber Hammerschmidt was the recipient of the Mariam Award, and Cierra Tomson was named the Freshman of the Year.
Dusti Russell earned her first Team MVP award. She was an all around competitor in 14 meets, including the NCAA National Championships, and won all around four times. She also won one vault, two beam and four floor titles during the season. Against Iowa she earned a career-best 39.450 in the all around while also posting personal-bests on vault and bars.
The Mariam Award, named for former Gopher gymnast Marian Pourshoushtari, is given annually to the gymnast who does everything possible to be the best gymnast and person she can be. This year's award recipient is senior Amber Hammerschmidt.
Kylie Schermann was tagged the Most Improved Gymnasts. As a freshman this season, the Lakeville, Minn. native jumped right into the mix on all four events and became one of the team's top performers on beam and floor. Schermann snagged one beam title on the season.
Cierra Tomson was named the team's Freshman of the Year. Tomson competed in the all around in 12 meets this season and posted a career-best of 39.250 at the quad meet in Denver. The Jacksonville, Fla. native notched the top score among freshmen on bars (9.850) and tied Schermann with the highest freshmen score on floor (9.850).
2012 Highlights - Scored a 196.250 at Iowa (Feb. 24), which is the highest team score since 2009. - Scored a 196 or higher four times, which is the most since 2004. - Posted a 49.300 vault score at the Big Ten Championships (Mar. 24), which is tied for third in school history. - Notched a 49.275 vault score in Denver (Mar. 17), which is fifth all-time in school history. - Finished third at the Big Ten Championships, which is the best finish since 2006. (picked seventh in preseason poll) - Qualified more than one individual for the NCAA Nationals Championships for the first time since 2002.