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April 27, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 27, 2014 - The Penn State women's gymnastics program held its annual end of season banquet on Saturday (April 26) afternoon at the Nittany Lion Inn. The Nittany Lions honored both gymnasts and supporters for their contributions to the program during the 2014 season.
"Our end of season banquet is always an emotional day," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "We celebrate the season and the group's accomplishments - the beautiful moments and the ones that built strength and character. They all realize that this is the last day that this exact group will be together as a team. The video at the conclusion of the banquet marked the beginning of the 2015 season and we are excited to continue where we left off."
Penn State enjoyed a fine season in 2014, earning the programs 17th berth to the NCAA Championships with a second place finish behind No. 1 Florida at the NCAA Regional hosted inside the historic Recreation Building. Their regional score of 196.725 was the highest NCAA postseason score in program history, while their score of 197.200 on March 8 in a quad-meet at New Hampshire was the third highest team score in school history and the top road score in the Penn State archives.
"It was an amazing season and the most fun I've had coaching a group of student-athletes in a long time," said Jeff Thompson. "They worked extremely hard to reach their goals and were rewarded on the highest level for their commitment to each other."
"This has certainly been a year to remember and a team that will stay with me forever," added associate head coach Rachelle Thompson. "Their bond and desire to move forward as a united group made them fun to coach day in and day out. I am already looking forward to next year as our student-athletes never cease to amaze me with their dedication and motivation to represent Penn State at the highest level."
Senior Kassidy Stauder (Palmerton, Pa.) came away with a trio of awards and was honored by having her name added to a pair of awards. In her four years on campus, Stauder displayed a consistency and desire to help the program in any way needed and for that the new Kassidy Stauder Four-Year Achievement Award will be handed out starting in 2015.
After hitting on every one of her 45 career balance beam routines, Stauder was named the recipient of the Beltz-Rohrbaugh Balance Beam Award for the third time in her career. She will also have her named added to that award, making in the Beltz-Rohrbaugh-Stauder Balance Beam Award, starting in 2015. The award is named for Joanne Beltz and Casey Rohrbaugh.
"I don't think there is a more deserving student-athlete on our team than Kassidy to have an award named after her," said Rachelle Thompson. "She was a model of consistency for our program. It's a tremendous feat to go four years and only record two falls, both on floor exercise. To compete week in and week out on the balance beam and never record a fall in a four year period is incredible. This is a well-deserved honor for Kassidy"
Stauder was also named the winner of the Barber-Rowland MVP Award, named after Allison Barber and Katie Rowland, after contributing routines on 54 of 56 total touches in 2014, along with competing in the all-around in 12 of 14 meets during her final season. She set new career-highs on all four events and in the all-around, writing her name into the balance beam record books with a 9.950 on March 8 in a quad-meet at New Hampshire. She was also selected as the Kelly Streicher Heart of a Lion Award winner, which honors an individual who inspires others through an unyielding spirit, tireless determination and passionate commitment to the glory of Penn State.
Fellow senior Lindsay Musgrove (League City, Texas) earned the Bernie Robertson Scholar-Athlete Award for the second straight season. The honor is given to an individual who displays excellence in the classroom while contributing to the team. In her four seasons, Musgrove was a staple on the vault and floor exercise, but was just as impressive in the classroom. The bio-behavioral health major currently owns a 3.98 GPA, was named Penn State's recipient of the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship and ranked first on the floor exercise and tied for fifth on the vault for the Blue and White in 2014.
Junior Sidney Sanabria-Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) received the Anthony-Rowland Iron Horse Award, named for Jan Anthony and Katie Rowland and is given to an individual who performs consistently throughout the season and competes in the all-around in every meet. She set a new career-high on all four events and notched a career-best of 39.425 in the all-around during her junior campaign.
The Lisa Ingebretsen Competitive Excellence Award was awarded to junior Krystal Welsh (Bowie, Md.). The award recognizes an individual who consistently rises to the competition and performs extraordinarily well under pressure. Welsh anchored the team's floor exercise lineup all season and was the fifth competitor on the uneven bars in 12 of the team's 14 meets. She was tied atop the floor exercise charts and tied for second on the uneven bars.
Junior Alex Witt and freshman Nicole Medvitz were named co-recipients of the Hoyt-Streicher Perseverance Award. The award is named for Carey Hoyt and Kelly Streicher and is given to the individual(s) who overcome setbacks and injuries and does so with the right attitude. Witt dealt with a thumb injury for the first eight weeks of the 2014 season, but returned to be a contributor on the uneven bars in each of the team's last six meets. Though her season debut was almost delayed due to an offseason hand injury, Medvitz made touches in all 14 meets on the uneven bars and balance beam.
The Nittany Newcomer Award winner was freshman Emma Sibson, who contributed 37 routines during her first season on campus. The rookie competed on the vault in all 14 meets, posting the fifth and ninth highest scores in school history on the event with a 9.975 in a quad-meet at New Hampshire and a 9.950 vs. Nebraska, respectively. She also made 11 touches on the balance beam and 12 on the floor exercise.
One of the namesakes for the Kolos-Ritenbaugh Service Award was bestowed the honor for the fifth time since it was first given out in 1989. Dr. Lee Kolos was honored for her work as the president of the women's gymnastics booster club and her efforts in making the 2014 Big Ten Championships and NCAA Regional Championships two of the most well-run events in the country. The award is named for Kolos and Bob Ritenbaugh and awarded to an individual not directly involved with the team who goes out of his or her way to help the team in all possible ways.
The Booster Club handed three awards, with junior Lexi Carroll (Olney, Md.) earning the Bill Conway "Hugs" Award, Musgrove garnering the Penn State Pride Award and Rec Hall Event Coordinator Mary Bolich accepting the Booster Club Award for her efforts and support of the team and program, as well as her work in hosting the 2014 Big Ten Championships and NCAA Regional Championships.
Barber-Rowland MVP Award - Kassidy Stauder
Anthony-Rowland Iron Horse Award - Sidney Sanabria-Robles
Lisa Ingebretsen Competitive Excellence Award - Krystal Welsh
Hoyt-Streicher Perseverance Award - Alex Witt & Nicole Medvitz
Beltz-Rohrbaugh Balance Beam Award - Kassidy Stauder
Bernie Robertson Scholar-Athlete Award - Lindsay Musgrove
Nittany Newcomer Award - Emma Sibson
Kolos-Ritenbaugh Service Award - Dr. Lee Kolos
Kelly Streicher Heart of a Lion Award - Kassidy Stauder
Bill Conway "Hugs" Award - Lexi Carroll
Booster Club Award - Mary Bolich
Penn State Pride Award - Lindsay Musgrove
Kassidy Stauder Four-Year Achievement Award - New Award for 2015
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