Area gymnasts make national appearancesBy NANCY MORGAN
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 14, 2002
This week's NCAA Gymnastics Championships will include some area athletes challenging for team and individual honors.
The University of Florida, seeded 10th in a field of 12, includes senior Krissy Dreger (Northeast). Fifth-seeded Louisiana State features Lindsay Beddow (Sickles) and Lauren Companioni (Plant).
All three trained in St. Petersburg's Tampa Bay Turners program.
Qualifying for the NCAA meet as an individual is the University of Denver's Ashley Shible (East Lake). She trained at the Gemini School of Gymnastics in Oldsmar.
"It's just a great honor to go to the NCAAs," said Dreger, a senior. "This will be my third trip with the team, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of this whole experience."
Florida has qualified for 20 of the 21 championships, missing only in 2001. Dreger will compete in all four events.
"Before, injuries kept me from competing all-around, but this year I've been healthy and have been able to," said Dreger, 22. "You have to work hard each week to get in the lineup because everybody's so good, so I'm pleased with how this season has gone."
Dreger recorded her collegiate-best all-around score (38.825) against Alabama this year, only to better it on Senior Night (39.00).
"My favorite events have always been uneven bars and floor exercise, although I like balance beam and vault, too," Dreger said.
Beddow scored 9.7 on the beam, and Companioni was eighth on floor, 12th on vault and 15th on beam to help LSU capture its first regional title in 16 seasons.
Shible, who earned All-American status as a freshman last year, scored a near-perfect 9.9 on floor and vault in regional competition.
Other NCAA regional gymnasts were Iowa State's Karen Kuplicki (Seminole), Jana Gallagher (Clearwater) of Illinois and West Virginia's Erin Signoracci (East Lake).
SOFTBALL: Army senior captain Nicki Robbins (Seminole) was selected the Patriot League Player of the Week and the school's athlete of the week for hitting .533.
Freshman Crystal Crews (Countryside) broke the Georgia Southern single-season home run record with her seventh blast.
USF sophomore Holly Groves (Seminole/UAB) was selected hitter of the week after batting .336.
Saint Leo freshman infielder Denyve Duncan (Palm Harbor University) was named Sunshine State Conference Co-Player of the Week after hitting .571. Stephanie Shrum (Palm Harbor University), a sophomore at Gardner-Webb (N.C.), was named to the North Carolina A&T All-Tournament team.
BASEBALL: Pitcher Nick Masset (Pinellas Park/SPJC) was promoted to the Sandgnats by the Texas Rangers. In a game against Tampa Bay's Class A Charleston River Dogs, Masset and Doug Waechter (Northeast) faced off. Baseball America named the Anaheim Angels' Casey Kotchman (Seminole) and San Francisco Giants' Boof Bonser (Gibbs) among the top 100 minor-league prospects and predicted both will reach the majors in 2004.
Wofford College pitcher George Lehr (Pinellas Park) has 10 wins and is one shy of a single-season record. Junior outfielder Ben Krentzman (Clearwater) hit his second home run of the season for Bucknell University.
WRESTLING: William Penn 174-pound sophomore Joe Robinson (Pinellas Park) earned All-American status with a fifth-place finish in the NAIA Championships. Brown junior Clint Frease (Clearwater) was selected for the All-Ivy League team.
TENNIS: In a 4-3 South Florida win over Miami, the Bulls' Nadim Naser (East Lake) defeated Joel Berman (Seminole), but the Hurricanes senior avenged the loss in No. 2 doubles.
Lori Grey (Seminole) netted two of Georgia's four points in a 4-3 victory against Florida.
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