Women’s Gymnastics Wins Third Straight National Academic Team Championship

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 5, 2009 — Southeast Missouri State University earned the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women National Academic Team Championship for the third-consecutive year.

The Redhawks posted a 3.91 grade point average, bolstered by 14 individuals with perfect 4.0s for the 2008-2009 academic year. All 17 Southeast gymnasts earned Scholastic All-America status as a result of 3.5 or better GPAs. The 3.91 GPA is the highest in the program’s history, as Southeast became only the second school in the nation to win the award three years in a row. Southern Utah had won the award six-straight years before the Redhawks ended that streak in 2007.

“We are very pleased with our commitment to academic excellence,” said head coach Tom Farden. “To receive this prestigious honor three-straight years says a lot about our team and its ability to set the standard high and succeed as student-athletes.”

Southeast also secured its first Midwest Independent Conference Championship under Farden after going 14-3 overall and undefeated at 11-0 in conference play last season. To be able to achieve that level of success with athletes carrying 4.0 GPAs in difficult majors such as communication disorders, pre-med, biology, biochemistry and physics is truly remarkable.

“I am proud to tell our fans about the difficult majors our students have chosen and how they have excelled both in competition and in the classroom,” Farden said.

A total of 67 student-athletes earned 4.0 GPAs and 428 earned Scholastic All-America status for the 2009 academic year. Southern Utah was the closest to Southeast among the 15 teams, finishing 23 points behind with a 3.68 GPA.

“It’s a tribute to Coach Farden and the young women of the Southeast Missouri State University gymnastics team,” said Director of Athletics John Shafer. “It’s unbelievable a team can win this award once, let alone three times in a row. This is great for our department and University.”

The NACGC/W seeks to actively manage and develop the sport of women’s gymnastics at the collegiate level and works with the NCAA and USA Gymnastics in order to provide the best possible experience for student-athletes.

“It’s an outstanding accomplishment for our young women and coaches to be the National Academic Team Champions three-straight years,” added Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator Cindy Gannon. “This exemplifies our department’s mission of putting the student-athlete first.”

Top-25 National Teams and GPAs

1. Southeast Missouri State, 3.91242. Southern Utah, 3.68003. Michigan State, 3.65274. Alabama, 3.56055. Hamline, 3.54796. Winona State, 3.54507. Minnesota, 3.52318. Eastern Michigan, 3.51009. Ithaca, 3.468610. Brown, 3.451311. Denver, 3.449312. Stanford, 3.448213. Missouri, 3.445714. UC Davis, 3.444715. Springfield, 3.434016. Arkansas, 3.430917. MIT, 3.425718. Utah, 3.415019. Western Michigan, 3.405220. Pennsylvania, 3.390021. Iowa State, 3.380622. Towson, 3.374223. Washington, 3.373624. Oklahoma, 3.361325. Ohio State, 3.3500

Southeast Scholastic All-Americans (3.5 or better GPA)

Sandra Blake, 4.00, Business & AccountingJennifer Dinan, 4.00, Communication DisordersLauren Dinan, 4.00, Biology-WildlifeBrianna Gaddie, 4.00, Health ManagementKara Gibbons, 4.00, Criminal JusticeJacqueline Heath, 4.00, Physics, Math & Pre-DentalKelley Krengiel, 4.00, Health ManagementEmily Mann, 4.00, General StudiesErica Moore, 4.00, Health ManagementAmanda Schoenbaum, 4.00, Business & Art-Graphic DesignStarlyn Schwartz, 4.00, Mass CommunicationChrista Soekamto, 4.00, Pre-Med, BiochemistryChristina Sundgren, 4.00, MathBryanna Wong, 4.00, Health ManagementRikara Turner, 3.70, BusinessJena Nguyen, 3.62, Biomedical SciencesAmber Garlotte, 3.52, Health Management