May 21, 2017
2017 Gymnastics Season Highlights Video
DENVER - The University of Denver women's gymnastics team celebrated a record-setting 2017 season at its annual awards banquet on Sunday. Eight awards were presented to the Pioneer gymnasts while the team recognized its two departing seniors.
Freshman Maddie Karr (Stillwater, Minn.) and senior Julia Ross (Henderson, Nev.) shared the Most Valuable Gymnast Award after each competed in the all-around in every meet this season and were both named regular- and postseason All-Americans. Ross hit all 60 of her routines in 2017 and counted all but two scores to the team total. Karr hit 57 of 60 routines and counted all but five to the final team score. Karr and Ross combined for 34 of DU's 53 titles, Karr winning 23 and Ross winning 11.
Senior Leah Lomonte (Katy, Texas) was named the Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row. Lomonte holds the highest cumulative GPA on the team (3.869) and was voted the Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for gymnastics. In both the fall and winter quarters this year, Lomonte was on the Dean's List.
Lomonte was also given the Coaches' Award, presented to the gymnast whom the coaches feel exemplifies the team's philosophies of character, teamwork and excellence. After missing the 2016 season with injury, Lomonte returned to the line-up in 2017 and competed on bars in every meet, setting a new career high (9.900) and contributing all but three scores to the team total.
Sophomore Claire Kern (Charlotte, N.C.), who also competed on bars in every meet, received the Jack Pommrehn Spirit Award, given to the student-athlete who demonstrates passion for the sport and the team. She hit all but one bars routine in 2017, set a new career high (9.875) and competed on floor for the first time in her career.
For the second consecutive season, junior Nikole Addison (Fort Myers, Fla.) earned the Most Inspirational Award. She competed a total of 51 times in 2017--including in the all-around in six meets--and set or tied personal bests on three events and in the all-around. At the end of the season, she was tied for No. 18 in the nation on floor, and held DU's second-highest average score on floor and third-highest on vault.
The Unsung Hero Award went to sophomore Kaitlyn Schou (Orlando, Fla.), which is presented to the student-athlete who contributes significantly to the team's success but whose efforts largely go unnoticed. Schou competed on vault, beam and floor in every meet in 2017, hitting all 45 routines and counting 100 percent of her scores to the final team score. She set career highs on all three events and won her first career title. Her season averages on beam and floor were the team's second- and third-highest, respectively.
In addition to her co-Most Valuable award, Ross was named Most Improved after becoming an all-around competitor in every meet in 2017. Her average score on all four events improved from the 2016 season--including by more than a tenth on beam. She set career highs on three events and in the all-around while tying the fifth-highest beam score (9.950) in program history. She finished 2017 tied for No. 13 in the nation on beam and in the all-around, and earned second-team All-American honors on bars at the NCAA National Championship.
Karr took home Freshman of the Year along with her co-MVP honor. She tied the program record for most titles in a freshman season (23) and set career highs of at least 9.900 on all four events, including a perfect 10.0 on vault. Her 39.675 in the all-around in the fourth-best mark in program history. She was ranked in the top-10 on vault and in the all-around at the end of the season and won three All-American honors at Nationals.
During the banquet, the Pioneers also recognized its two seniors who have completed their time with the team: Ross and Rachel Fielitz (Walden, N.Y.). Fellow senior Lomonte will return in 2018 for a fifth and final year of eligibility.
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