Three women’s gymnastics recruits, set to join the Golden Gopher program in the fall of 2008, competed in the Junior Olympic Regional Championships in their respective regions recently. Lucy Ennis and Kylie Smith have each earned a trip to the Junior Olympic National Championship, while Briana Jones is the first alternate for the national competition.
Briana Jones recently committed to joining the Golden Gopher program next fall by signing an acceptance of admission form. Jones is graduating at the top of her class at Red River High School in Grand Forks, N.D., this spring. She has earned a multitude of academic honors throughout her high school career. She has a perfect 4.0 grade point average, is a National Honor Society Member, is the Renaissance Committee Vice President, was a Rotary Student of the Month, and earned the Renaissance Personal Best Award.
In addition to her academic accolades, Jones is an accomplished gymnast as well. She completed her second year competing at Level 10 at the Red River Valley Gymnastics Club under coaches James and J.J. Bayer. She just missed qualifying for the J.O. National Championship, and is the first alternate for the national meet. In 2007, Jones qualified for the J.O. Level 10 National Championship. She finished in third place in the all around at the North Dakota State Championship in both 2007 and 2008. In 2006, she was the North Dakota High School state champion on beam and in the all around. Her high school team won three state titles during her tenure.
In addition to gymnastics, Jones participates in dance and church activities, plays the flute and piccolo, coaches gymnastics, and teaches and choreographs dance.
"There are few young women who enter the collegiate program with with such beautiful dance ability in conjunction with their gymnastics skills," said co-head coach Meg Stephenson. "Briana will be a wonderful addition to an already talented team."
Lucy Ennis, a Roseville, Minn,. native, finished second on vault at her J.O. Regional Championship with a 9.5. She was also on bars, fourth on beam, seventh on floor and was the runner up in the all-around with a 37.425. Minnesota also won the team competition at the regional meet, as Ennis was one of eight gymnasts competing for the Minnesota team. Each state competes against the others in its region to become the team champion. Each state selects eight gymnasts based on their scores at the state championship.
Kylie Smith, of Broken Arrow, Okla., was second on vault with a 9.65 at her J.O. Regional Championship. Smith placed sixth on bars, seventh on beam, eighth on floor and second in the all-around with a 37.125.
Both Ennis and Smith, who committed to the Gophers by signing National Letters of Intent last fall, will compete at the J.O. National Championship on May 17 and 18 in Kissimmee, Florida.