Jan. 14, 2009


By Amy Farnum Novin

Georgia’s Courtney Kupets’ returned to form in her first collegiate competition following an Achilles injury suffered late last season as she took the all-around title in a win over West Virginia to open the 2009 schedule last week.

The senior from Athens, Ga., posted a 39.45 in the all-around, and won or shared individual titles on bars (9.975), balance beam (9.85) and floor exercise (9.95), garnering Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Week honors.

The five-time national champion and 10-time All-American is ranked No. 1 in the all-around, uneven bars and floor exercise after the first week of the season.

“I think Courtney winning the SEC Athlete of the Week speaks volumes about her work ethic,” Georgia coach Suzanne Yoculan said in a statement. “To come back from that injury at the age of 22 and win the all-around in her first meet shows her character, her determination and her drive. I think she’s one of the best gymnasts ever in the history of college gymnastics, and it’s good for the gymnastics world to have her back.”

Kupets and the GymDogs return to action at LSU Jan. 16.

WELL-ROUNDED: Michigan’s Sarah Curtis claimed the all-around title as she sparked the Wolverines to a team victory in the Michigan State Quad Jan. 9, narrowly edging then-No. 16 Illinois by 0.9 points.

The junior from Reno, Nev., also shared first-place in the vault with a score of 9.825, and finished second in the balance beam and floor exercise.  Curtis scored a 39.250 to win her fourth career all-around crown.  She was chosen Big Ten Gymnast of the Week for her performance.  It is the fourth weekly award of her career.

With the victories over Michigan State and Illinois over the weekend, Michigan has won 20 consecutive meets against Big Ten opponents, dating back to 2007.  The Wolverines’ last loss to a league foe was on Feb. 16, 2007 against Penn State.

FLYING HIGH: Air Force opened the 2009 season with wins over Wisconsin Eau-Claire and Wisconsin La-Crosse in a triangular meet as the Falcons received outstanding performances from senior Abbey Rogers.

Rogers, native of Pittsburgh, Pa., captured the floor exercise (9.775) and all-around (38.35) titles, and tied for first place in the balance beam and uneven bars.  She also nabbed second on the vault.  Rogers was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week for her efforts.

A NICE SURPRISE: Junior Jamie Deetscreek was a surprise winner for No. 2 Utah in the Utes’ win over No. 4 UCLA last weekend as she took the all-around title in her first career attempt with a 39.10.

Deetscreek was the only one of five all-arounders in the competition to get through the meet without a fall.  The native of Hatboro, Pa., also notched career-bests on the vault (9.875) and floor (9.825).

The second-ranked Utes host No. 8 Georgia on Jan. 19 in a matchup of the top two teams at NCAA Championships in each of the last three seasons.  Georgia has won three consecutive NCAA titles, while Utah has finished in the runner-up spot.