April 28, 2012
AUBURN – Freshman Bri Guy was named 2012 Team MVP and senior Kendall Swartz received the distinguished Wentworth Award on Saturday night at the annual Auburn gymnastics awards banquet.
“It’s great to be able to give our seniors a send-off like this,” Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. “We had a chance to spend some time together as a team one last time and have some fun. It was a good time to socialize, while also giving out awards and recognizing some special people. Overall, it was a fun night.”
Guy was named team MVP after becoming the first Auburn gymnast to be named All-SEC since 2009. The Maryland-native was also the first Auburn gymnast to qualify for the NCAA national championship in the all-around competition as a freshman since 2005.
“In her first year Bri proved that she is a tremendous asset to this team,” Graba said. “The fact that she worked her way towards the anchor spot in three of the lineups in just her freshman year proves how valuable to this team she has made herself in such a short amount of time.”
Swartz was honored as the 2012 recipient of the Sarah Wentworth Award, presented annually to the Auburn gymnast who best exemplifies the Auburn Creed.
“Kendall made herself invaluable to the team this year by setting an example for work ethic, dedication to academics, and passion for the sport and for her team,” Graba said. “Kendall never wavered in her focus to put the team first and continue to push forward no matter the difficulties.”
Senior Allyson Sandusky received “The Rock” award as Auburn’s most consistent gymnast. She also received the award in 2010.
“Ally has filled ‘The Rock’ category for this team for nearly her whole career here,” Graba said. “This year, with so many young newcomers, it was more important than ever to have a senior be able to just predictably go out and give a great performance. Ally was absolutely tremendous for us this year in this role.”
Senior Leah Vining
was named 2012’s winner of the Ritenbaugh Award. Named for Auburn gymnastics supporter and Assistant Vice President for Auxiliary Services Bob Ritenbaugh, the award goes to an individual who goes above and beyond the gym and university to reach out to the community.
“Leah fulfilled a much needed role on the team this year,” Graba said. “In her role as student coach she gave of herself in an effort to better the team. This selfless dedication is really what the Bob Ritenbaugh Award is all about and nobody embodied it better than Leah Vining this year.”
Additionally, senior Laura Lane was named Student-Athlete of the Year. A two-time SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Lane holds a 3.91 cumulative grade point average in Applied Math - Actuarial Science. Petrina Yokay was named Auburn’s Most Improved Gymnast.
“Laura Lane has been a true leader both in the academic and athletic areas for this team,” Graba said. “She is one of the most focused, dedicated and passionate people I have ever had the pleasure to be around. She is an absolute inspiration. Petrina challenged herself early on last fall to improve on all the events with a goal to make it into the All Around this year. She trained extremely hard over the pre-season and the work paid off for her and for the team. Petrina made herself enormously more valuable to the team during the pre-season and definitely deserves the ‘Most Improved’ award this year.”
Also honored on Saturday night were Auburn’s 2011 Academic All-Americans Justine Foster, Lane, Kylie Shields, Swartz, Abbey Habicht, Katie Hurley, Vining and Krissy Voss as well as SEC Honor Roll members Lauren Brzostowski, Foster, Hurley, Kareen Kaveh, Lane, Shields, Swartz, Vining, Voss and Yokay.
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