COLUMBIA, Mo. - Throughout the day on Tuesday at Fairview Elementary School, countless student-athletes from Mizzou Athletics worked with kids to promote proper everyday health and fitness. Beginning in the morning and ending in the late afternoon, Mizzou student-athletes took part in hour long "Mizzou Moves" sessions with each individual grade at the school.
Members of Mizzou gymnastics made their presence felt all day long, as they conducted a variety of fun-filled activities with the Fairview students. Among the array of interactive activities included health education, physical challenges and team-building exercises.
Freshman Alyson Heimsath and junior Katelyn Trevino were two of many Mizzou gymnasts that made their way to the local Columbia, Mo. elementary school. Each Tigers gymnast, along with other student-athletes from various Mizzou athletics programs, jumped all over the opportunity to give back to the local community.
During each hour long session, a pair of student-athletes were charged with the task of promoting specific health and fitness lessons. Trevino and her fellow teammates know first-hand the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.
"I think it is so cool to be able to help these kids understand the importance of nutrition," said Trevino. "Doing it in a fun and exciting way encourages them to take care of their bodies at a young age. It is definitely something I wish I could have learned more about when I was a kid myself."
Although she is only a freshman at Mizzou, Heimsath has already made her second appearance at a Mizzou Moves event. The ability to interact with kids and teach them important life lessons is what keeps the Houston, Texas native coming back time and time again.
"I love working with kids, and they look like they really enjoy spending time with the Mizzou student-athletes," said Heimsath. "It is really cool to go play games with them and promote the same concepts that we learn ourselves as student-athletes."
While all the Mizzou student-athletes in attendance Tuesday had their schoolwork and practice to finish still later in the day, the opportunity to reach out to the local community was too hard to pass up.
"Mizzou Moves was so much fun!" said Trevino. "Myself, along with my fellow gymnastics teammates, had a blast working with the kids at Fairview Elementary. A program like Mizzou Moves is really inspiring for everyone involved."
Fans can access more information on Mizzou Athletics' community efforts at MUTigers.com. For all things Mizzou Gymnastics, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@TigerGymnastics).
One of the most common answers you will get from a student-athlete when asked the question "Why did you come to Mizzou" is the family atmosphere that the athletic department gives off. Missouri gymnastics junior, Katelyn Trevino, noted that alongside the family vibe, there was a large amount of passion coming from all of the athletes and staff, no matter which sport or department they were in. Her fellow student-athletes and athletics staff members were also very welcoming no matter where you reside from (Dallas, Texas in her case). On her visit, she recalled instantly knowing that this is where she wanted to be because there was something special about Mizzou that felt like home.
Trevino has been a part of gymnastics since she was three years old. In fact, her parents (Rich and Marilyn Trevino) own a gymnastics club back home in Dallas, and under their tutelage she became both the verbal and physical leader that she has become today at Missouri.
After successful freshmen and sophomore campaigns in 2011 and 2012, Trevino was faced with adversity her junior season at Mizzou. In the third meet of the season, Trevino suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon rupture. While she knew the road to recovery would be challenging, she still managed to find positives from the situation at-hand. Trevino has come back for the 2014 season with as much passion as ever, as she has continued her relentless support towards her fellow teammates even through suffering a minor injury in the beginning of the year.
On top of being able to once again compete this season, Trevino was also named co-captain along with fellow junior, Rebecca Johnson. This is the first year Missouri gymnastics have had official captains, as per head coach Shannon Welker's instruction and it happened to work out that the two girls are also best friends outside the gym.
"I am the extrovert personality and Becca (Johnson) is the introvert personality of the team." said Trevino. "I am the one that speaks out when needed and lays it out on the table, and she is the one who tidies it up. I think we have the perfect balance."
It is their job to make sure the communication between and within the team and coaches runs smoothly. Opposed to a superiority role, Trevino said their role has served as a team-strengthening device. The core values of the team are demonstrated and instructed through the pair of captains, in the hopes that the team can band together even further and continue with their love and support for each other through thick and thin.
Last December, the 22-year-old Trevino completed her undergraduate degree in communications with a minor in Spanish, in only three years at the University of Missouri. This year she began working on her Masters degree in positive coaching and is set to receive her degree in May 2015. Although Trevino is unsure of what she really wants to do as a career, she knows she wants to have an impact on people, which is what the Missouri gymnastics program facilitates and builds on.
It is not uncommon for student-athletes to continue on with their education after receiving their undergraduate degree in order to complete their four years of eligibility. Beginning work on a Masters degree is not only something that allows a student to continue to compete in their sport, but it is a sure-fire way to have a leg-up while looking for a job later on. In most cases, their program is completed shortly after their last season of competition.
"I am really passionate about my Masters program," said Trevino. "I really want to learn the material and put full effort into every piece of work I do because it is something I enjoy and will take with me into life after gymnastics."
Trevino and her fellow Missouri gymnasts travel to No. 11 Auburn on Friday, Mar. 7. The dual meet will be the last regular season road trip of the year for the Tigers. Missouri then closes out their home schedule at the Hearnes Center next Friday, Mar. 14, as they host the defending national champion Florida Gators.
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Gymnastics team is over halfway through their 2014 season, and have shown consistency and improvement from week one. Currently, the Tigers are riding a three-meet winning streak, and will look to get back to .500 (4-4) with a win this Friday, Feb. 21 against George Washington. Missouri and the Colonials square off at the Hearnes Center Friday evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT.
In this edition of "Missouri Q and A" freshman Anna Bowers, freshman Lark Pokladnik and sophomore Miranda Eubank share their early thoughts and observations from the 2014 season up to this point.
Missouri Gymnastics: What are your general thoughts on the 2014 gymnastics season so far here in Columbia?
Lark Pokladnik: This season has been full of many successes so far. We have put up great line-ups and produced great event scores. Now we are just needing to bring it all together so we can show everyone what this team truly has to offer. Once we do that, we will be a force to be reckoned with!
Anna Bowers: So far this season, we have come a long way but still have room for improvement. Which is a very exciting thought!
Miranda Eubank: We are currently about halfway through our season, and our team has produced some great things so far. I can confidently say that we have much more to show still for the rest of the 2014 season.
MG: What is the main difference you have experienced so far with head coach Shannon Welker and his coaching staff (assistant coaches John Carney and Casey Jo Magee)?
LP: I know Shannon is new to the whole team, but coming from my previous club coaches to now coach Welker has made my transition easy.
AB: Shannon is very factual and straight to the point, which is really helpful in terms of knowing what you need to fix in order to be a great gymnast.
ME: Our coaches have really lifted Missouri gymnastics to a new level of focus and determination towards success. We see it working for us every day in the gym, and I'm confident it will shine through in our performances for the rest of the season and beyond!
MG: Anna and Lark, describe how your first season in collegiate gymnastics is going, and what has stood out the most while being at Mizzou
LP: My first collegiate season has been very different than I ever imagined it to be. Coming off a major injury from last season in Junior Olympics has definitely changed the way this year has gone for me as a gymnast. However, learning how to rely on a team, and knowing that they have my back has been a very positive experience for myself and I cannot wait to see what the rest of this season holds. The thing that stands out the most at Mizzou is without a doubt the academic support system for the student-athletes. They have helped me choose the right classes to take for my major (Psychology), and have provided tutors that have helped me excel thus far in my academic career.
AB: My first NCAA season has been very different from club, but I think in a good way. It has been a very long but fun journey, and I am looking forward to the rest of the season with my teammates!
When it launches on Aug. 21 of this year, the SEC Network is going to forever change how fans of the Southeastern Conference follow their teams, in addition to helping secure and strengthen the future of the nation's best conference.
The 24/7 network will provide unprecedented coverage of all league sports, from studio programming to at least 450 live events every year. That will include more than 100 men's basketball games, many of which will feature Mizzou.
Although a schedule for next season won't be released until later, a look at this year's MU men's basketball slate gives an idea of how the SEC Network will affect fans' ability to watch games it the future.
In past years, Tiger games not picked up by national television have been aired statewide on outlets like the Mizzou Sports Network, Metro Sports, Fox Sports Midwest and the syndicated SEC TV package. The new SEC Network is expected to replace all of these options, as you can see in the hypothetical 2013-14 schedule below.
By: Missouri Gymnastics Student Beat Writer, Amanda Nusbaum
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Minor injuries are not uncommon for athletes, especially at the collegiate level. A few weeks on the sideline is usually the extent of the recovery time for the athlete, but the team as a whole is still able to go on with their season. For the larger injuries however, the impact is far more apparent, especially for smaller athletics programs like gymnastics.
In one such case, the 2012-2013 season for Mizzou Gymnastics saw season-ending injuries to three key competitors within a two-and-a-half week span. At each of the Tigers' first three meets, the team saw another girl go down and the journey back would be long and hard for all three involved.
The first to get hit with the injury bug was junior Rebecca Johnson, two days before the first conference meet against Alabama. A hyperextended knee after a vault landing in practice would fracture her tibia and tear her PCL, which put her on crutches for the foreseeable future. Nine days later at the meet against Florida, junior Brianna Conkle dislocated her ankle during floor warm-ups, landing her in a cast in addition to a night at a local hospital.
With two girls out for the season already, the third meet of the season a week later (Air Force Quad Meet) started off equally as grim. In the first rotation warm-ups of the evening, redshirt junior Katelyn Trevino would rupture her Achilles tendon, resulting in the need for surgery. The injury-riddled month of January came to a close for Mizzou, and the three injured gymnasts bound together to push through their own recoveries and to also support the team for the remainder of the year.
For Trevino, the injury was particularly mentally devastating. Gymnastics had been an integral part of her life since she was three years old, and the injury seemed like a setback she may not be able to come back from. The inability to help her team caused a sense of grief and frustration.
However, with the aid from her fellow injured teammates, Trevino would rebound mentally as the 2013 season progressed.
"Bri (Conkle) and Becca (Johnson) not only understood how I felt and how much it hurt not to be able to contribute to the team, but they also inspired me through their own mental strength," said Trevino. "It gave me hope for the future, which caused me to never give up, even when I may have wanted to."
Trevino would be on crutches for seven weeks after her surgery, which marks almost exactly a year ago to this day. Johnson, who was fortunate to never have had an injury prior to her 2013 incident, was on crutches for eight weeks before she was cleared to begin rehab. Even after almost a year, Conkle notes that the pain of landings has not gone away, and may not ever for that matter.
Throughout the rest of the season, especially in the height of their recoveries, the girls focused their energies on being the biggest cheerleaders for their team. Unable to go out and compete, they knew the most important thing they could do for their teammates was to show them that they were still with there to support them to the fullest.
The first thing Trevino, Johnson and Conkle would all be cleared for gymnastics-wise, starting around the beginning of the 2013 summer months, would be the uneven bars as long as they did not conduct any hard landings.
Johnson noted that bars had never been her favorite, but when it was the only thing she could do, she would spend hours upon hours practicing on them. All that time working on the event paid off early-on in the 2014 season, which culminated in an all-time gymnastics memory for the Tigers junior.
"At the Pink Out meet against Arkansas a couple weeks back, I hit a strong bar routine and stuck my dismount," said Johnson. "Katelyn (Trevino) then ran over and picked me up in a moment of sheer joy, and I felt the biggest rush of emotion. There was electricity running through my veins, and in my head it was like we are officially back."
All three girls have slowly come back into competition, and each have high hopes for the rest of the 2014 Tigers season. This past offseason, a big effort was made by first year head coach Shannon Welker and his coaching staff to bond the whole team together, which included creating smaller "families" and a big / little sister program.
Conkle in particular was incredibly enthusiastic of the special dynamic the team formed over the course of offseason workouts and team bonding activities.
"I feel really good about our team this year and the potential we have shown," proclaimed Conkle. "We have really worked on bonding as a team, and it truly feels like we are sisters."
"I think this year is going to be really special for us, and I am really excited to show our fans what each of us have been working towards!"
As the Tigers head to North Carolina State this weekend for their second road-trip of the season, the three junior gymnasts will continue their outstanding comeback from last year's injuries. While there will certainly be some setbacks and mentally difficult moments the rest of the season, all three now know they won't have to look far for support.
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Last Thursday, the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches released their preseason poll. The initial set of rankings once again shows the prowess of the SEC Women's Gymnastics programs, as seven schools cracked the Top-25. In fact, three of the top five teams lie within the SEC (No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Alabama and No. 5 LSU).
Under the direction of new head coach Shannon Welker, the Missouri Tigers also received some recognition in the first coaches' poll. The Tigers fell in the "other teams receiving votes" category, falling just out of the initial Top-25 list.
The preseason No. 1 Florida Gators, received 21-of-31 first place votes possible and will look to repeat as National Champions this upcoming season. Missouri will host Florida at the Hearnes Center this year, with the Gators traveling to Columbia, Mo. on Mar. 14. The meet is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CT start.
This year's regular season opener will provide an instant challenge for the Tigers. On Jan. 10, Missouri hits the road to take on No. 2 Alabama with the meet beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT. The Tigers' and Crimson Tide's meet in Tuscaloosa, Al. will be televised on Fox Sports Net.
Missouri's non-conference schedule will also bring some quality opponents to the table. Similar to the Tigers, North Carolina State and George Washington also received votes in the 2014 preseason poll. Missouri will compete against North Carolina State at Raleigh, N.C. on Feb. 1, while they will host George Washington at the Hearnes Center on Feb. 21.
For the latest information on all things Mizzou Gymnastics, check-in to MUTigers.com. You can also follow the Tigers on social media, by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter (@TigerGymnastics) and Instagram (@Mizzou_Gymnastics).
The Mizzou swimming and diving teams hosted the 2013 Mizzou Invite Nov. 21-23 at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
Following the Mizzou Invite, Tigers shot up the national rankings on an individual level. Currently, 13 different men's swimmers and five women's swimmers rank among the top-25 in their respective events.
Juniors Sam Tierney and Danielle Barbiea lead the way for the Tigers, as both hold nation-leading times. Tierney ranks first in the country in both the 100 breast and 200 breast, with times of 53.17 and 1:54.38, respectively. Barbiea is tied for nation's top time in the 100 fly with a 51.13.
Below is a list of Tigers who currently hold top-25 national times:
Men's Swimming and Diving in the National Rankings
Freshman Michael Chadwick
200 Free - 21st (1:36.59)
200 IM - 21st (1:46.93)
Junior Mark Conroy
100 Breast - 20th (54.28)
Junior Mack Darragh
400 IM - 6th (3:45.78)
200 Fly - 8th (1:44.64)
Junior Austin Fish
200 Back - 10th (1:42.72)
Freshman Carter Griffin
200 Back - 4th (1:41.67)
Sophomore Daniel Graviss
400 IM - 10th (3:47.14)
Sophomore Max Grodecki
100 Free - 5th (43.19)
100 Back - 22nd (47.57)
Junior Eegan Groome
500 Free - 3rd (4:17.78)
200 Free - 12th (1:35.98)
1650 Free - 14th (15:11.92)
Junior Igor Kozlovskij
200 Breast - 4th (1:55.23)
100 Breast - 6th (53.64)
200 IM - 10th (1:45.74)
Senior Logan Mosley
100 Back - 3rd (46.60)
100 Fly - 7th (46.82)
50 Free - 11h (19.73)
Junior Andrew Phillips
200 Fly - 13th (1:45.12)
500 Free - 25th (4:23.42)
Sophomore Michal Rokita
200 Breast - 20th (1:58.80)
Junior Sam Tierney
100 Breast - 1st (53.17)
200 Breast - 2nd (1:54.38)
200 IM - 7th (1:45.04)
400 Free Relay - 3rd (2:53.70)
400 Medley Relay - 3rd (3:09.68)
200 Medley Relay - 6th (1:26.12)
200 Free Relay - 8th (1:19.53)
800 Free Relay - 9th (6:29.34)
Women's Swimming and Diving in the National Rankings
Junior Danielle Barbiea
100 Fly - T-1st (51.13)
50 Free - 14th (22.42)
100 Free - 14th (48.80)
100 Back - 14th (52.72)
Sophomore Anna Patterson
50 Free - 19th (22.51)
100 Fly - 20th (53.29)
200 Free - 21st (1:46.56)
Freshman Katharine Ross
100 Breast - 5th (59.95)
200 Breast - 13th (2:11.44)
Junior Danielle Spradlin
200 Breast - 24th (2:13.27)
Sophomore Lauren Stoeckle
200 Breast - 16th (2:12.15)
100 Breast - 21st (1:01.22)
200 Medley Relay - 5th (1:37.42)
400 Medley Relay - 5th (3:33.79)
200 Free Relay - 9th (1:30.56)
400 Free Relay - 15th (3:19.67)
800 Free Relay - 24th (7:21.36)