Nov. 14, 2007
Auburn, Ala. -
Clare Bregstein Bregetti, Kareen Kaveh, Justine Foster, Allyson Sandusky and Kylie Shields have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Auburn University and participate in gymnastics in the 2009 season, head coach Jeff Thompson announced Wednesday.
"With the addition of these five gymnasts we can be competitive with anyone in the SEC and in the nation next season," said Thompson. "This is the class we needed to sign to reach the top."
"It was amazing how everything about our recruiting came together for us this past summer," said Thompson, now in his ninth year. "The new trend in recruiting for many schools has been to insist on recruits coming on unofficial visits during their junior year of high school if they want to be considered for gymnastics scholarships. These five young ladies all made several unofficial visits to other schools and were feeling some pressure to make their decisions before they visited Auburn. There was a two-week period where we were really sweating it, and then everything fell our way."
Assistant Coach Krissy Hoeferlin, in her second season with the Tigers, was a key factor in Auburn's recruiting success.
"Krissy did a great job of getting these girls interested in Auburn through her letters and emails," Thompson said. "I made all of the home visits myself. Once they came to campus and met Rachelle, they were hooked. As it turned out, we were actually finished with our recruiting in the first week of August."
The early verbal commitments allowed the Auburn gymnastics staff to host one big recruiting weekend for all five gymnasts and their families.
"We had a great turnout with eight of the 10 parents attending," Thompson said. "It was the most fun we have ever had with our recruits and their parents. The gymnasts seemed as if they had known each other all their lives and the parents were just amazing."
Bregetti, who trains at Orlando Metro Gymnastics, is coached by Jeff Woods and was a top 10 finisher in the All-Around at the 2007 Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships. She also finished in the top 15 on both uneven bars and floor exercise. Bregetti was the 2007 Regional Champion on uneven bars as well as having top three finishes on vault, floor and in the all-around.
"Clare is gymnast who has impeccable form and perfect execution." Thompson said. "Her background at one of the premier gyms in the nation has her ready to be a standout competitor in the all-around her freshman season at Auburn," Thompson said.
Bregetti is a senior at Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla., and is the daughter of Lionel Bregetti and Regina Revello.
Kaveh, who trains at Hill's Gymnastics in Gaithersburg, Md., is trained by Olympic and National team coach Kelli Hill. In 2007, Kaveh was the alternate to the USA Gymnastics Level 10 National Team with a fifth place finish in the All-Around at the 2007 Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships. She impressed everyone with a third place finish on beam and a fifth place finish on floor at JO Nationals. Kaveh was the 2007 Regional floor exercise Champion and also finished second on vault at the Region Seven competition. Kaveh was named to the Region Seven All-Star team for the second consecutive year and will travel to Mexico to represent her Region in January.
"Kareen was one of the most highly recruited athletes in the country," Thompson said. "We are proud and excited she has chosen to represent Auburn University for the next four years. We are confident Kareen will make an immediate impact in the all-around with her competition experience and proven consistency."
Kaveh is a senior at Magruder High School in Rockville, Md., and is the daughter of Amir and Carmen Kaveh.
Foster trains at Atlantic Gymnastics in Portsmouth, N.H., with Tony Retrosi. Foster comes to Auburn with an impressive resume full of national and regional titles. In 2005 Foster was named the National Champion on floor exercise at the Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships as well as the national runner-up on vault. In 2006 she earned first place all-around at the regional competition as well as finishing second on floor and third on vault at the USA Level 10 Nationals. In 2007, Foster again impressed with a top finish on vault and a second place finish on both floor and in the all-around in her Region.
"While Justine is exceptional on both vault and floor, we expect her to contribute everywhere," Thompson said. "Her explosive style and sheer power will be an asset to Auburn on every event. She is such a great kid and is so fun to watch. I'm sure she is going to be a crowd favorite."
Foster attends Windham High School in Windham, Maine, and is the daughter of Dan and Karen Foster.
Sandusky, also trains at Hill's Gymnastics in Gaithersburg, Md., and is coached by Kelli Hill. Sandusky has a history full of amazing accomplishments. In 2007, she finished second on bars and beam as well as fourth in the all-around at the Regional competition. Also in 2007, Sandusky notched a Top 12 finish in the all-around at the Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships. In 2006, she earned second place on uneven bars at the Level 10 junior Olympic National Championships as well as a top 10 finish on balance beam. Sandusky has been named to the Region Seven all-star team for the second consecutive year and will represent her region at a competition in Cancun this January.
"She is a great gymnast from a wonderful family and we are thrilled she has chosen Auburn. We were impressed with Allyson's style and athletic ability from the beginning of the recruiting process and her competition results speak for themselves," Thompson said.
Thompson expects Sandusky to compete in the all-around competition next season and to make a strong and immediate impact on uneven bars. Sandusky is a senior at Magruder High School and is the daughter of Bill and Jane Sandusky.
Shields, trains at Dynamic Gymnastics in Mohegan Lake, N.Y., and is coached by Sorin and Teodora Cepoi. As a former Elite gymnast, Shields finished fifth in the all-around at the US Classic-Challenge in 2004 as a junior athlete. In 2006, Shields was named the Regional Champion in the all-around. At the 2007 Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships, Shields was third on balance beam and ninth on vault in route to a top 10 finish in the all-around competition. Shields, who also participates in high school gymnastics, was the 2007 New York State Champion.
"Kylie is a gymnast with amazing lines and terrific presentation. She will be an all-arounder for us with her top events being beam and bars."
Shields is a senior at Mahopac High School and is the daughter of Don and Karen Shields.
"All five of these young ladies have trained their entire lives either with coaches who have had gymnasts in the Olympic Trials, World Championships and the Olympics or with coaches who were Olympians themselves. They know what it's like to be surrounded by other great gymnasts and they know what it's like to train hard every day. These five understand what will be expected once they get here and will be ready to deliver. I can't wait," Thompson said.
Auburn starts its 2008 season on Jan. 12, in Lexington versus the Kentucky Wildcats. The Tigers open their home schedule on Jan. 18, versus cross-state rival Alabama.