(April 21, 2008)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Hawkins Crowned USAG Floor Champion, Smith Grabs Second on Vault

Courtney Hawkins
Courtney Hawkins

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary gymnastics team finished its season yesterday, but six Ladies advanced to the individual event finals at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships on Saturday. Sophomore Courtney Hawkins emerged as the Floor Exercise National Champion, while senior Meredith Smith narrowly missed collecting the second title of her career.

Hawkins bounced back after an upsetting performance on the vault earlier in the competition to score a 9.875 on the floor exercise to claim the title. Hawkins was the final competitor on the event and bested Annuka Almenoksa's effort of 9.850.

On the vault, Hawkins threw up an impressive score on the first run, but in the event finals the gymnasts must complete two vaults. The average score of the two vaults becomes the official score.

To read the entire story and view the Event Final Results, click HERE.

(from the Shreveport Times)
Ladies' Hawkins Captures National Title

SHREVEPORT—When Centenary's Courtney Hawkins slipped on her second vault and went face first through the vaulting area, crumbling in a heap at the back, it appeared Centenary's best hope for a USAG national champion had tumbled out of the arena.

But the sophomore, displaying the metal toughness that defined the second half of her Ladies season, fought off a possible broken toe and finger to win the floor exercise and become Centenary's only national champion on Saturday afternoon in the Gold Dome.

"Mentally I was OK going into the floor routine, but physically I was hurting," Hawkins said. "I knew I had to stay strong and put that vault out of my mind. Hopefully, winning this will give me and my teammates some confidence heading into next year."

Centenary senior Meredith Smith stepped up when Hawkins finished 10th in the vault, with a 9.737 to finish tied for second in her final competition as a Centenary gymnast. Centenary's Julia Cornelius was sixth in the uneven bars despite a nearly flawless routine that included a nailed landing. Her 9.700 score didn't sit well with Centenary coach Bill Hardy.

Click HERE for complete coverage.

To view the Shreveport Times' Gymnastics Championship photo gallery, click HERE.