Aug. 6, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. -- For the second consecutive season, five members of the Oklahoma women's gymnastics team earned National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches All-American Scholar Athlete Awards, the NACGC announced late Wednesday.
Haley DeProspero, Caitlin Hinkis, Jessica Kinder, Gina Lesko and Mary Mantle garnered Oklahoma's accolades with Hinkis and Kinder both earning perfect 4.0 GPA's for the academic year. The pair were the only gymnasts in the Big 12 to notch 4.0's during both semesters.
OU recorded a team GPA of 3.25 for the year, up from last season's 3.20.
"As a program, we have always placed an emphasis on academic achievement and these five women have taken that to heart," said head coach K.J. Kindler. "2008 proved to be a banner year both in the classroom and in competition, but we are always striving to improve in both facets as we move forward."
A senior Psychology major on the Sooners' 2008 squad, Hinkis was one of just 61 student-athletes in the NCAA nominated with a 4.0 GPA. The Simsbury, Conn., native was a staple in the bars line-up for Oklahoma in 2008 and scored a season-best 9.825 at the NCAA South Central Regional, helping OU advance to the NCAA Championships for the fifth consecutive year.
Kinder, a Health and Exercise Science major from Kansas City, Mo., joined Hinkis in the exclusive list of gymnasts with a perfect GPA. The senior-to-be scored a career-high-tying 9.85 on floor at the NCAA National Championships to finish 11th and will play a vital role in the Sooners' success on vault, beam and floor in 2009.
DeProspero earned a 3.69 GPA in Zoology during the 2007-08 school year while also preparing for the MCAT, which she took earlier this summer. The McKinney, Texas, product garnered ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District at-large team honors as a junior after leading the Sooners with eight beam titles on the year.
Lesko, majoring in Zoology alongside DeProspero, exhibitioned on beam in OU's win at Texas Woman's University on Jan. 19, 2008. The Allen, Texas, native earned a 3.56 GPA for her second-straight NACGC All-American Scholar Athlete Award.
Rounding out the OU honorees was Mantle (Bellevue, Colo.) who carded a 3.59 in Human Relations as a sophomore. A key part of OU's bar, vault and floor rotations, Mantle scored a career-high 9.9 on vault at Denver in the first event win of her career.
To qualify for NACGC All-American Scholar Athlete honors, gymnasts must attain a GPA of 3.5 or better