Feb. 17, 2009
Columbia, Mo. -
The Big 12 Conference has named junior Sarah Shire as Big 12 Gymnast of the Week, marking the third time this season the Columbia native has taken home the honor.
Shire was named Co-Big 12 Gymnast of the Week in January with Nebraska's Kylie Stone, and won the award outright the week before. Senior Alicia Hatcher (Blue Springs, Mo.) was also named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week that week.
The awards come after a series of dominating performances in the first half of the season by Shire, capped by this past weekend's 39.525 career-high all-around win against Illinois. She has now won the all-around title in five of six meets this year, and has taken 12 individual event titles.
Her all-around win this past weekend marked a career and season high for the junior. She won three of four event titles, and matched her career high of 9.925 on the beam for the second straight week. The week before, she also broke her career high on the vault with a 9.950, a mark she had set just two weeks earlier against Nebraska.
This is the fourth weekly award for Shire -- in addition to the awards earlier this year, she was named Co-Big 12 Gymnast of the Week after putting up a 39.500 against Centenary in February 2008. Shire was also named the Big 12's Newcomer of the Year for 2008, and was picked for the first-team All-Big 12 on vault and for the All-Big 12 Championship team on beam.
The performance last Friday pushed Shire to No. 15 in the country, No. 5 on the vault, No. 33 on bars and No. 31 on the floor. She is first overall in the Big 12, and also ranks first on the vault and uneven bars. She is fourth in the conference on the floor, and eighth on beam.
Shire will be in action again this weekend and hoping to lead the No. 13 Tigers to another victory, this time in Norman, Okla., where Missouri will take on conference-leading and national No. 11 Oklahoma, along with No. 18 West Virginia and Brown University.
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