St. Petersburg Times Online: News of southern Pinellas County
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Gymnast from East Lake flips for University of Denver


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 18, 2001

When Ashley Shible (East Lake) visited the University of Denver, the school and its surroundings were a perfect fit for the two-time Level 10 national vault champion.

"Being there seemed such a natural thing," said Shible, 18. "I've adapted to the weather -- the snow is fine -- and everyone is so nice here."

Shible is having a stellar freshman season with the Pioneers. She has set some school records in individual events and all-around performances and has won 17 overall titles up to this weekend's Pioneer Classic, which includes five-time national champion Georgia.

"Ashley is just having an incredible year," said third-year Denver coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart. "We had high expectations for Ashley, and she's just had a great season. The experience she and the other three freshman are getting is our foundation for the future."

Last year, the Pioneers missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships by a mere .025 points. This season, with performances from Shible and her teammates, Kutcher-Rinehart is looking forward to a national berth.

"We lost five seniors last year, plus the loss of All-American Jenny Ebdon this season to a season-ending ACL injury," Kutcher-Rinehart said. "So, Ashley and the rest of team have had some extra pressure, and they have risen to it."

Before her high school graduation, Shible trained at the Gemini School of Gymnastics in Oldsmar where she developed her signature vault techniques.

"We were just playing around with different things on the vault," said Shible, a biology major. "Vault is my favorite event anyway, so we were just experimenting."

Shible's experimentation paid off. She scored a 10 on vault in a meet with Utah State last month. Shible set the school all-around record with a 39.525 then again the following week with a 39.575.

Earlier this month against Southern Utah, Shible won vault (9.875) and balance beam (9.875) along with the all-around (39.300).

GYMNASTICS: Sophomore Jana Gallagher (Clearwater) scored a 9.9 to win the balance beam competition and was first all-around, leading the the University of Illinois to its first victory.

Senior Gina Weichmann (Countryside) was third on the balance beam and third all-around to contribute to the Illini's second-place finish in a meet with Cal State-Fullerton and Sacramento State.

Erin Signoracci (East Lake) and No. 16 West Virginia were scheduled to battle Tara Tagliarino (Plant High) and the University of Michigan on Saturday.

Krissy Dreger (Northeast) and No. 10 University of Florida edged Karen Kuplicki (Seminole) and Iowa State 195.175-195.075 in a Rydell High Reunion in Gainesville.

BASEBALL: Ryan McBee (Shorecrest) and Chris Maggi (Countryside) are seeing action with the Elon College Phoenix.

McBee, a freshman shortstop/second baseman, has started 12 games and is batting .208. Maggi, a junior second baseman, has played in three games.

Back to St. Petersburg area news
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Special Links
Mary Jo Melone
Howard Troxler

From the Times
South Pinellas desks
  • Fixture faces 'fresh blood' in Gulfport on Tuesday
  • Poll worker counseled after beach election
  • Withering blight
  • Bus depot planned near new YMCA
  • Home Depot stoplight decision delayed
  • Some changes would help city
  • Fans pay homage to Earnhardt during fest
  • Neighborhood briefs
  • Spring training games a hot ticket
  • Business briefs
  • Thrift shop to close doors, look elsewhere
  • Campaign calendar
  • Hospital plans Wellness Day for kids ages 8 to 12
  • Officials investigate suspicious house fire
  • 2-year circumnavigation expected to end today
  • Summer camps downtown provide a creative outlet
  • Cost of Lealman fire station is on the rise
  • YouthBuild graduates 16 in school-work program
  • Question the candidates
  • What's up on campus
  • The week ahead
  • Library gets ready to show new digs
  • Gymnast from East Lake flips for University of Denver
  • Classic Ladies, Kroeger roll through tourney at Dunedin
  • St. Petersburg man Ferreira finds success at end of Trail
  • City chiefs here and in S Africa plan swap