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Coach Patty Stotzheim and the Otahkians will be in action this weekend at Centenary.
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Gymnastics Springs into Season

Cape Girardeau, Mo. (January 4, 2003) - The Southeast Missouri State Otahkian Gymnastics squad will open up the regular season this weekend as they travel to Shreveport, La. to take on the Ladies of Centenary College. The meet is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Southeast is coming off a 9-11 season that saw them lose only twice at home and have six separate top ten scores including the second-best bars score of all time by senior Amy Cole of a 9.900 and the third-best all-around score of all time turned in by junior Ashley Godwin of a 39.275. They also had top ten team scores in the bars, beam and floor exercise.

The season was capped off by senior Michelle Walker and Godwin qualifying for the regional championships at Arizona State University. Walker qualified for the floor and Godwin was an all-arounder. Both were very competitive throughout the competition.

This season is full of promise for the young squad. They lose five talented athletes to graduation, but retain their top all-arounder in Godwin and have six very talented first-year performers joining the squad. Cole and Candace Spicer return as the squad's lone seniors, with Godwin and Jacklyn Doebbler as the juniors. First year performers Deanna Ogg looks great on bars and Tara Boldt is solid on the beam.

Centenary comes into the meet after a 13-18 record a season ago. Both squads hooked up twice last year with Southeast defeating the Ladies at home and again in the Midwest Independent Championships at the end of the year.

The Ladies are coached by Bill Hardy in his third year at the school. He is 16-34 in those three years. Last season his squad had a season high score of 193.200 and averaged a 189.575 throughout the season. They return 10 athletes, while losing only two, and have four newcomers. They are led by Tasha Rogers, Janelle Thibault, Jennifer Jackson, and Tara Mitchell.

Coach Stotzheim is impressed with the progress Centenary has made within the last three years under coach Hardy, and is looking forward to competing against them.

"Centenary has been getting better every year since Bill Hardy started coaching there three years ago," Stotzheim said. "I think they're going to give us some good competition this year."

After this meet, Southeast will play host to Illinois State on January 19th at 2 p.m. at Houck Field House.


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