COLUMBIA, Mo. - With the 2014 Mizzou gymnastics season in the books, the Tigers gymnasts have begun their off-season conditioning and practice. Each week, Mizzou Athletics will check-in with current members of the gymnastics roster, and look into their personal workouts and reflections of the past season.
In the second edition, we sat down with freshman Angie Kern. The Columbia, Missouri native was one of five freshmen to join the Mizzou gymnastics program last season. Kern evolved into one of the top contributors among the freshmen class of 2014, and culminated in an individual NCAA Regional bid for her performance on floor.
For any freshmen student-athlete, the transition from high school to collegiate athletics can be challenging. With the help of her upperclassmen teammates, Kern quickly transitioned into her new surroundings at the University of Columbia.
On the competition floor, Kern and her fellow freshmen gymnasts joined an already young Mizzou program. The ability to immediately step in and compete as a freshman allowed for invaluable learning experiences.
"I think we definitely took away a lot of experience, because we were in lineups and competing," said Kern. "I think we will have a better understanding of what competition is all about in college, and what the team aspect is all about. Also, we now understand what a freshman year is all about, and we can help out the freshmen class of 2015 coming in!"
Not only did Kern compete in every 2014 meet (12 appearances on vault and 11 appearances on floor), but the hometown product continued to show incredible improvement on her two events. On Feb. 21, 2014 against George Washington, Kern earned her first career event title with a score of 9.875 on floor.
The event win against the Colonials was a sign of things to come, as the Tiger gymnast would later earn an individual alternate nomination to the 2014 Fayetteville NCAA Regional. Kern's 9.795 regional qualifying score (RQS) on floor was one of the top marks inside the South Central Region.
To be honored by her peers with an NCAA individual nomination was something Kern would never forget.
"It meant the world to me, because it showed that hard work and loving what you do really pays off," said Kern. "As much as I would have loved to get it (NCAA bid) along with my team, it is still a big honor for any freshman to be nominated like this."
The 2014 Mizzou gymnastics campaign brought an array of exciting accolades and challenging adversity for not only Kern, but the entire Tigers roster. At the end of the day however, Kern would not trade her first year in Columbia, Missouri for anything.
"I would summarize my first season as something very memorable," said Kern. "Every moment spent with my team and competing was everything I hoped for. I cannot wait for next year already, because it will be just as amazing!"
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).