(April 14, 2013)

USA Gymnastics National Championships concludes, Centenary takes third

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary gymnastics team concluded the USA Gymnastics National Championships with Event Finals on Sunday afternoon at the Gold Dome. Seniors, Meg Crowley and Jessica Lieblich, represented the Ladies competing in their first career event finals on floor.

Ladies gymnastics

Crowley posted the highest scores for the Ladies on floor over the first two nights of competition with a 9.875 on Friday and 9.800 on Saturday. She placed third on floor Sunday with an excellent score of 9.850.

Lieblich posted a score of 9.500 on Sunday in her final, floor routine for the Maroon and White.

Head coach Jackie Fain said, "Jessica has been another great example for this team. She has been a consistent competitor in her four years at Centenary and in the all-around this year. It was great to see her compete her final meet in her first event finals."

"It was great for Meg to finish her career with a phenomenal performance," Fain said. "She is a leader by example for this team, and it was nice to see her rewarded for her hardwork as third in the nation."

Other top finishers on floor were Sasha Tsikhanovich (9.925) winning first from the University of Bridgeport, and Kristin Edwards (9.750) in second place from Texas Womanís.

A trio of Pioneers from Texas Woman's posed a tie for first on vault with scores of 9.750 as Bethany Larimer, Edwards, and Amy Winczura all notching the feat.

On beam, TWU's Larimer and Rachel Zabawa from Lindenwood won with a 9.875 each. Tsikhanovich from UB rounded out the top spots with a 9.850 score.

Winning uneven bars was Kirsten Strausbaugh from University of Pennsylvania with a 9.850. Megan Milavec from Penn, Katie Hawthorne from Air Force, and Melanie Jorgensen from Cornell finished in a tie for second place with a 9.800 score.

Bridgeport claimed the 2013 USA Gymnastics National Championship - marking its fifth consecutive.

Centenary finished third place Saturday, matching its teamís highest team score of the year 193.975, after posting that Friday night. The semi-finals meet saw several gymnasts hit personal bests and was highlighted by the Maroon and White advancing to the finals with a narrow second place finish.

It was the first team final for Centenary to compete in since 2008.

"On Friday, the Ladies competed with a fire in their eyes and with an intensity in this team I havenít seen in a while," Fain said. "It was a great weekend of competition. All teams came in ready to compete for a national championship."

"Our girls outdid themselves this weekend, and their goal was to have their last meet of the year be the best meet."

Four seniors took the floor one last time for the Ladies. Amanda Holt, Christy Martinez, Crowley, and Lieblich all gave outstanding performances in their final competitions as a team, with all gymnasts setting a personal best on the weekend.

Fain added, "It was awesome for the seniors to be competing in front of the home crowd one last time. These girls led the team all weekend and left legacy behind for the underclassman to strive for."

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