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State Gymnastics Kicking Ass, Taking Names

January 20, 2011

After starting the season unranked, the Wolfpack gymnastics team is not just climbing the rankings' ladder these days—they're practically leaping up it. Dare I say, vaulting up it? (I'll be here all week.)

So much so, they've caught the attention of the media personnel at the NCAA who ran a feature on the team on their web site:

NC State may have lost its season-opening meet against then-No. 4 Oklahoma last week, but the Pack certainly gained a whole bunch of confidence against the Sooners.

The Pack hit all 24 routines en route to the highest season-opening score in program history as they fell to Oklahoma 196.175-195.150. Three freshmen made their collegiate debuts for NC State, including Stephanie Ouellette, who won the all-around (38.975) and shared the floor title (9.85) with junior teammate Jess Panza and two Oklahoma gymnasts. Senior Brittany Vontz claimed second place on the uneven bars with a 9.85, a mark that currently ranks 14th in the nation.

“Anytime you have kids that have experience and then adds kids with high-end talent, it makes for a lot of potential,” said head coach Mark Stevenson. “If anyone had asked me if we were going to be perfect in the first meet with no falls, I would have probably said the potential is there, but I don’t know whether we’ll actually do it. But they did, and did a great job doing it.”

NC State’s season-opening score propelled the unranked Pack to No. 10 in the national team rankings, but Stevenson knows his team must consistently put up those numbers to remain among the best in the nation. The Pack’s highest-ever ranking was No. 9 entering the 1998 NCAA Championships. They finished No. 11 that season.

As some of you may know, gymnastics was one of my beats at Technician back in the day, and I can't be happier for coach Stevenson. He's the only coach State gymnastics has ever had in over three decades of the program's existence, so he—like Kay Yow in a sense—literally built his program from nothing into one of the country's best.

Keep on rocking, coach Mark.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2011 11:49 pm

    This is the kind of thing I forgot consider when I decided against writing for the paper. How many of those chicks did you hit on while you were covering the team?

    • admin permalink
      January 21, 2011 5:18 pm

      I was the consummate professional.

      .

      .

      .

      .

      …and they were way out of my league.

  2. Matt permalink
    January 21, 2011 12:41 pm

    Guck the Fators! 😉

    • admin permalink
      January 21, 2011 5:17 pm

      Best gymnastics meet sign EVER! Banned in Reynolds!

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