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Lara Degenhardt will take over as assistant coach of the Southeast Missouri State gymnastics team.
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Southeast Gymnastics Announces New Assistant Coach

Oct. 7, 2003

Cape Girardeau, Mo. - Although she is barely five-foot tall, her list of accomplishments is gigantic.

Lara Degenhardt will take over as assistant coach of the Southeast Missouri State women's gymnastics team. Her accomplishments as a star gymnast at Oregon State University include All-American honors as well as NCAA Nationals and All-Pacific-10 distinctions.

"Her experience will serve as a guide and role model for our team," head coach Tom Farden said.

In 2001 Degenhardt was a first-team All-American in the vault, while placing sixth at Nationals. The same year, she was awarded the PAC-10 Medal, which is given to the most deserving male and female athlete at each Pacific-10 school.

A year earlier, Degenhardt was named to the All-PAC-10 first team, while being named second-team All-American in the floor event. It was the same event in which Degenhardt scored a perfect 10 at the 1999 PAC-10 Conference Championships. Degenhardt lists the feat as her biggest thrill in gymnastics. She has also scored a 9.9 on a 9.9 valued vault two times.

"I think I will add my experience as a Division I gymnast in that I've competed at NCAA Regionals and Nationals on a nationally-ranked Top 10 team," Degenhardt said. "It's a whole other level of playing field to compete at those competitions, and once the student-athletes understand what it is all about, they will excel as individuals and as a team."

Farden agrees that her experience is her biggest asset, and will help lead the team to become a recognized program.

"Her extensive postseason championship experience is something that will help this team," he said. "It will help us get to where we want to be."

Since graduating with a degree in graphic design, Degenhardt served as a coach at Multnomah Athletic Club, in Portland, Ore. While there, she served as head compulsory coach, levels 5-6, and assistant optional coach, levels 7-10.

Along with helping with recruiting at Southeast, Degenhardt will deal with the beam and floor events. She will also do most of the choreography and assist with the other events.

Farden said there was no doubt that she was the right person for the job.

"Her enthusiasm and passion for the sport is unquestionable," Farden said. "She's going to be a great addition to the team."


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