Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Nine members of the Central Michigan gymnastics team earned Scholastic All-American honors for 2016-17 from the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women.
The Chippewas who were honored, with their year, their major, and their grade point average: Courtney Campbell, junior, biomedical sciences, 3.62; Rachel Carr, senior, exercise science-health fitness, 3.81; Katy Clements, junior, journalism/public relations, 3.68; Caroline Fitzpatrick, senior, exercise science/kinesiology, 3.57; Bryttany Kaplan, junior, commercial recreation, 3.93; Samantha Lewis, freshman, undecided, 3.73; Denelle Pedrick, freshmen, undecided, 3.59; Gianna Plaksa, sophomore, biomedical sciences, 3.94; Shaila Segal, senior, statistics, 3.61.
It marks the fourth time that Segal has earned Scholastic All-American honors, and the third time for Campbell, Fitzpatrick and Kaplan. Carr, Clements and Plaksa were so honored for the second time in their respective careers.
“This is an athlete-driven situation,” said Jerry Reighard, who has had 143 of his student-athletes earn Scholastic All-American honors during his 33 years in charge of the Chippewa program.
“Certainly, we as coaches try to inspire them to do well in the classroom and we do everything we can to aid them,” Reighard said. “In reality, this is a competition, if you want to look at it that way, but it’s not between a particular student-athlete and anyone else. It’s an inner drive.
“There is a tremendous amount of pride in it as an individual. And most importantly, it’s what they’re here for. The education that they’re acquiring is lifelong. And those that accomplish something like this are going to be contributors in this world and that’s what really inspires me to coach.”
To receive the award, a student-athlete must have earned a cumulative or year-long GPA of 3.5 or higher.