May 6, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. -- The University of Minnesota women’s gymnastics team celebrated its record-setting 2013 season with its annual awards banquet at TCF Bank Stadium’s University Club Room.
Minnesota (29-13) finished its season ranked eighth nationally after placing eighth at the NCAA Championships in Los Angeles, Calif., April 19-21.
Freshman Lindsay Mable (Aurora, Colo./Eaglecrest HS) received the team’s Most Valuable Performer Award, as well as being honored as the Freshman of the Year. Sophomore Jenny Covers (Prairie Grove, Ill./Prairie Ridge HS) earned the Most Improved Award, while sophomores Kylie Schermann (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North HS) and Cierra Tomson (Jacksonville, Fla./Seacoast Christian Academy) shared the Mariam Award.
Mable earned MVP and Freshman of the Year after an incredible debut season with the Golden Gophers. She earned First Team All-America accolades in both vault and floor exercise, tying for fourth on floor and tying for fifth on vault at the NCAA Championships Individual Event Finals on April 21. Mable, who also earned First Team All-Big Ten and Big Ten Freshman of the Year, won 19 event titles during her rookie year in collegiate gymnastics. She and Covers tied for the Gainesville Regional title on vault with scores of 9.950, and Mable also tied Minnesota’s school record on both floor (9.975) and in the all-around (39.600) this season. She was honored as the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Week six times, and she also earned regular season Second Team All-America honors for both floor and all-around.
The Mariam Award is named for former Minnesota gymnast Mariam Pourshoushtari, and is given annually to the gymnast who does everything possible to be the best gymnast and person she can be. This year, the award is shared by Schermann and Tomson.
Schermann had an outstanding season competing on vault, balance beam and floor exercise, as she was one of three Gophers named First Team All-Big Ten. Schermann recorded career-high scores on all three events, including a 9.925 on floor. Tomson competed in all 14 meets for the Gophers, going all-around in Minnesota’s final six meets this season, and establishing career-high scores on all four events and in the all-around.
Like her classmate Tomson, Covers established career-bests in all four events and in the all-around to earn the award for Most Improved Gymnast. Covers tied with Mable as co-champion on vault at the Gainesville Regional with a career-high score of 9.950.
Eleven Gopher gymnasts earned letter awards: seniors Janell Campbell and Shannon Golich; juniors Justine Cherwink, Dusti Russell and Kayla Slechta; sophomores Jenny Covers, Kylie Schermann and Cierra Tomson; and freshmen Madie Hanley, Lindsay Mable and Hanna Nordquist. Campbell and Golich were presented with pins to signify their membership in The “M” Club.
Six members of the women’s gymnastics team earned Academic All-Big Ten distinction during 2013. Minnesota’s honorees were Janell Campbell, Justine Cherwink, Shannon Golich, Kylie Schermann, Kayla Slechta and Cierra Tomson.
Minnesota tied with Michigan for the inaugural Big Ten regular season title by going 6-1 against Big Ten competition, and the Gophers finished third at the Big Ten Championships on March 23. Three Gopher gymnasts – Mable, Golich and Schermann -- earned First Team All-Big Ten, marking the most Minnesota gymnasts on the first team since 2004. Mable and Campbell earned spots on the Big Ten’s All-Championships Team.
With all the success this season, Minnesota’s coaching staff was recognized for its hard work. Head coach Meg Stephenson earned Big Ten Coach of the Year, North Central Region Coach of the Year, and NACGC/W National Coach of the Year.
Stephenson’s staff of associate head coach Jenny Hansen, assistant coach Louie Johnson and volunteer assistant Jim Stephenson was honored as the North Central Region and National Assistant Coaches of the Year by the NACGC/W.
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