Four Gymnasts Earn All-America Honors
April 17, 2009
LINCOLN, Neb. - Oregon State gymnasts Mandi Rodriguez, Jami Lanz, Jen Kesler and Tasha Smith have been announced as 2009 NCAA All-Americans. All four OSU gymnasts are repeat honorees having earned All-America recognition in years past.
Rodriguez, a junior from Baldwin Park, Calif., is the only first team All-American for the Beavers in 2009 earning the honors on vault and floor exercise. Rodriguez flirted with perfection scoring 9.95 on the vault Thursday night, including earning a 10.0 from one judge. On the floor, she tumbled to an impressive 9.875, which held up as the second-highest floor score of the session. Rodriguez will perform on both events Saturday evening in the Individual Event Finals. In addition, Rodriguez finished eighth in the all-around with a score of 39.400 to earn second team honors. These three honors brings Rodriguez's career total to four, after she earned first team accolades on the vault in 2007. Rodriguez's three career first team All-America honors puts her in a class of only four other OSU gymnasts to accomplish the feat - Joy Selig (7), Chari Knight (6), Mary Ayotte-Law (3) and Laurie Carter (3).
Lanz, a senior from Eugene, Ore., showing her versatility earned second team All-America status on her third different event in as many years. Thursday night, Lanz scored a 9.90 on the vault to finish fifth in the session. In 2008, Lanz earned second team honors on the balance beam and in 2007 she was awarded second team on the uneven bars.
Smith, a senior from Auburn, Wash., also earned the third All-America award of her career scoring 9.85 on the floor exercise. Smith, who had not been in the competitive lineup all season after giving birth to a baby girl in December, nailed her high-flying tumbling runs and showed off with her crowd-pleasing hip-hop dance routine. Smith had previously received second team honors on the vault in 2006 and first team in 2007.
Kesler, a sophomore from Kenmore, Wash., earned her second consecutive second team All-America award on the uneven bars. Kesler performed a beautiful bars routine Thursday evening to score 9.85 and finish seventh in the session.
The gymnasts will officially receive their All-America awards certificates at Saturday morning's Championship Brunch.
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