Gymnastics Team Awards Announced

June 7, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - In conjunction with Wednesday's Benny Awards, coach Tanya Chaplin announced the recipients of the 2001 gymnastics team awards.

Katrina Severin was named Most Valuable Gymnast, with Annie Campbell, Lara Degenhardt and Stephanie Bychowski receiving honorable mention recognition. Severin earned first team All-American honors on vault after finishing second in the nation on that event, and she was named to the All-Pac-10 Team on three different events. Degenhardt was also a first team All-American on vault, while Campbell and Bychowski were ranked nationally on at least one event apiece.

Lindsay Nelson and Elaine Yoder were named Co-Rookies of the Year. Yoder, who wasn't in the lineup at the start of the season, competed on three events by the end of year and had the team's second-best average on floor. Nelson was in the lineup on two events in the season opener but had to compete in the all-around two days later at Nebraska because of injuries to two of her teammates. She placed third all-around in that meet and would likely have kept competing all four events until she sprained her ankle less than a week later. Still, she worked her way back into the lineup on three events despite the injury and finished the year with the team's third-best average on bars.

The Most Improved Gymnast award went to Soni Meduna, who competed on three events in the last 12 meets of the year. Meduna shattered her career-bests on vault and bars. Most impressive was her perfect vault, recording a perfect score of 9.80 on her handspring front tuck at one meet. She scored a 9.65 or better on vault six times in 2001 after never scoring above a 9.50 on the event before this year. She also surpassed her top bars mark by a big margin. Prior to this season, Meduna's top score on bars was a 9.325, she bettered that mark in 12 meets in 2001, highlighted by a best of 9.775. Meduna also competed on floor, with a season-high of 9.80 just missing her previous best of 9.825 from her freshman year.

In a season filled with injury and adversity, the Most Inspirational award went to the entire team. The Beavers lost two all-arounders, including an All-American, to season-ending Achilles' injuries within the first month of the season. Two other gymnasts suffered injuries that would limit their competition for the rest of the season. With the team's depth challenged, the gymnasts who could compete fought hard and advanced to the NCAA Championships, while those who didn't or couldn't compete offered support from the sidelines.

The Outstanding Scholar Athlete awards went to Degenhardt and Megan Suratt. Degenhardt, a graphic design major, was a second team Verizon District VIII All-Academic selection as well as a first team Pacific-10 All-Academic honoree. Suratt, an exercise and sport science major, was a second team Pac-10 All-Academic pick.

The team was honored as OSU's Female Team of the Year at Wednesday's Bennys, while coach Chaplin was recognized as OSU's Female Coach of the Year. Severin was honored with the Female Performance of the Year for her second-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

The Beavers placed 11th at this year's NCAA meet, where Severin and Degenhardt were honored as All-Americans.

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