April 29, 2013
“It’s always great when we are able to take some time to reflect on an outstanding season and honor several deserving award winners,” Auburn gymnastics head coach Jeff Graba said. “We had a tremendous year and I know as a staff we consider it a great privilege to be able to hand out these awards to the girls for all their accomplishments throughout the school year and season.”
The night was highlighted by freshman All-American Caitlin Atkinson being named MVP. Atkinson burst on the scene as a freshman establishing herself as an invaluable all-arounder from the first week. What would follow was nothing short of remarkable as the Houston, Texas native became the first All-American for Auburn since 2008 and the first Auburn freshman to earn first-team All-American honors in the program’s 37-year history. She scored 9.9 or higher on all four events, including a 9.950 on floor against Maryland. Her season high all-around total of 39.550 came in Auburn’s record win over LSU
Senior All-SEC performer Petrina Yokay received “The Rock” award as Auburn’s most consistent gymnast. The California native stepped up as a valuable all-around competitor in nine meets, including the last seven, culminating in a career-high total of 39.350 at her final SEC Championship meet as Auburn finished fifth overall, its highest in her collegiate career. Additionally, she equaled or set her career highs on all four events as a senior including a 9.9 on vault and 9.950 on bars.
Sophomore Megan Walker received the “Most Improved” award for the 2013 season. A bars and beam specialist, Walker Showed marked improvement from her freshman to sophomore year highlighted by career bests of 9.925 in both events. She finished her sophomore season with scores of 9.9 or higher on bars and beam five times.
Caryn Kadous was honored as the 2013 recipient of the Sarah Wentworth Award, presented annually to the Auburn gymnast who best exemplifies the Auburn Creed. Kelsey Thomasson 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.
Junior Abbey Habicht received the distinction of Student-Athlete of the Year.
Additionally, Auburn’s eight 2012 Scholastic All-Americans and 10 SEC Honor Roll members were recognized as well as the program’s 16 academic Top Tigers.
Finally, Yokay was honored as a NCAA Postgrad Scholarship Nominee and Walker for her inclusion in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum. Both Habicht and Kadous were recognized for their induction into Chi Alpha Sigma, the national college athlete honor society for junior and seniors who earn a varsity letter in at least one sport while maintaining a 3.40 or higher cumulative GPA.
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