Gymnastics Adds Six to 2010 Freshmen Class
Nov. 21, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky gymnastics team welcomed six commits during the national fall signing period head coach Mo Mitchell announced Saturday. Joining the Wildcats are Brittany Canfield, Karissa Carpenter, Holly Cunningham, Audrey Harrison, Paige Krall and Kayla Sienkowski.
Canfield is a native of Orland Park, Ill., and competed for Glen Willmeng at United Gymnastics Academy. Canfield was a 2005 and 2006 National Qualifier and the 2006 state floor champion. A 2007 and 2008 Region Five Qualifier, Canfield holds a 9.60 career high on bars and floor.
"Brittany is a strong all-around athlete that will make an immediate impact on our program," head coach Mo Mitchell said. "She will be a very welcome addition to our team. Brittany's work ethic and confidence is what we strive for in our program."
Carpenter joins the Wildcats from Indianapolis, Ind., where she competed at Deveau's gym under Tom Strange. Carpenter's accomplishments include 2005 Eastern National Vault Champion, 2007 state vault, floor, and all-around champion, and National Qualifier. In 2008, Carpenter earned regional bronze medalist honors on vault and was named a National Qualifier. Carpenter was also the 2009 state bar champion and regional silver medalist on bars.
"Karissa is such a hard worker and possesses some unique skills that are different from what we see every day," Mitchell said. "She should help us out immediately on vault and beam. We look forward to the personality and drive that Karissa will bring to the team."
Cunningham comes to Kentucky from Colorado Springs, Colo., where she competed at Colorado Aerials for Kathy Vigil and Jason Baits. Cunningham was a 2005 Jr. Elite and Elite Classics Qualifier. In 2007, Cunningham earned the Region Three gold medal on beam and all-around, while taking silver on vault. Cunningham earned Region Three fourth place honors on all-around and took the Colorado state floor championship in 2008. Taking fourth on beam and all-around in Region Three, Cunningham was the regional bronze medalist on beam in 2009. Cunningham also earned a place on the Region Three National Team from 2007-09.
"Holly is a phenomenal student-athlete that is strong on beam, vault and floor," Mitchell said. "We are really excited to have Holly join the UK Family. She brings with her a number of accomplishments. Holly is really motivated to help UK become a dominant force in the Southeastern Conference."
Harrison, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., competed for Sasha Gridnev and Lea Emery at Premier Athletics. At the 2009 state championship, Harrison took the vault, beam, floor and all-around titles. Harrison took bronze medalist honors at the 2009 Regional, while being named to the 2009 Region Eight National Team.
"Audrey is a performer," Mitchell said. "She is very dynamic on beam and has a unique way of showcasing her gymnastics. She has so much more to offer and we fill with her training habits she is only going to continue to get better. We feel she too will make an immediate impact on this team, competing in a number of spots."
Krall joins the Wildcats from Apollo Gymnastics after competing for coach Ken Anderson. A native of Centreville, Va., Krall was the 2008 Virginia State bars champion, floor silver medalist and the fourth-place all-arounder. At the 2009 Virginia State championship, Krall took bronze on vault and bars, and fourth on all-around. Krall was a Region Seven Qualifier in 2008 and 2009, and took silver in beam in the 2009 regional.
"Paige is a very precise athlete who is getting better every day," Mitchell said. "She is great on beam, and very clean and strong on bars. She is definitely going to fill some of the voids left by our five departing seniors. Paige seems to get better and better every time we see her."
Sienkowski is a native of Frederick, Md., and competed for Larisa Firestone at Frederick Gymnastics Club. At the 2004 Alster Pokal Invitational in Hamburg, Gergmany, Sienkowski finished second in the all-around, while the Junior Team took first. At the same event in 2005, Sienkowski took seventh in the all-around. Also in 2004, Sienkowski competed in the U.S. and American Challenge. In 2007, Sienkowski was the all-around and bars champion at the Eastern National.
"Kayla is extremely competitive and a hard worker," Mitchell said. "Her gymnastics is wonderful to watch. I think Kayla will be a big asset on the floor and beam. She is explosive and hardworking. We are delighted to have Kayla as part of the UK family and we look forward to big things from her."
Hosting six regular-season meets in 2010, Kentucky will welcome Southeastern Conference opponents Alabama, Arkansas, Florida. Alabama took second place at the 2009 NCAA Championship and first at the SEC Championship., while Florida took fourth and Arkansas fifth, respectively, at the NCAAs.
Highlighting the 2010 home schedule is the NCAA Central Regional Championship. Kentucky hosts this season's regional April 10th at Memorial Coliseum. Despite being the host school, the Wildcats must earn one of the five regional berths. After the Wildcats travel to Ball State for an exhibition contest on Dec. 5, they return home to begin regular-season action with "Excite Night" against Texas on Jan. 9.
Reserved regular-season tickets for Gymnastics events are $5 each, regardless of age. General admission tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors and youth. Season tickets are available for $15. Group tickets (20-plus people) are available by calling the ticket office in advance of the event.
For complete coverage of Kentucky gymnastics, please visit www.ukathletics.com..