PITTSBURGH, Pa. – West Virginia University sophomore Hope Sloanhoffer
was named the 2012 East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Gymnast of the Year, at the league’s championship banquet, tonight, at the Westin Convention Center.
Sloanhoffer, a Cornwall, N.Y., native, is the second Mountaineer in as many seasons to score the league’s top honor, as former WVU gymnast Amy Bieski snagged the award in 2011. She is the sixth Mountaineer to win the award since the league’s inception in 1996.
“I was really surprised and happy to win this award,” say Sloanhoffer. “While honored, I’m really focused more on tomorrow’s championship and winning the title with my teammates.”
“Hope was at the top of the all-around rankings all season, and I think she absolutely deserves this award,” says coach Jason Butts. “She is the EAGL’s best all-around gymnast, and I’m very proud of everything she has accomplished this season. To have two Mountaineer gymnasts win this award in consecutive seasons really says a lot about the type of gymnastics WVU is competing.”
Ranked No. 1 in the EAGL in the all-around every week this season, Sloanhoffer enters tomorrow’s championship with the nation’s 33rd-best regional qualifying score (RQS) of 39.165. Sloanhoffer also ranks No. 42 (9.84) nationally on beam. In addition to her top all-around ranking, she also ranks No. 3 on beam, No. 5 (9.855) on vault and No. 8 (No. 8) on bars.
Sloanhoffer, named the EAGL Gymnast of the Week a league-best three times this season, has scored 39.0-plus eight times this year, including a career-best 39.3 in the season opener. She also has scored career highs on beam (9.95) and bars (9.85).
In addition to her major award, Sloanhoffer was named to four All-EAGL first teams tonight: vault, bars, beam and all-around. She has now won seven career first team All-EAGL honors.
Six additional Mountaineers joined Sloanhoffer on stage tonight, as WVU scored 15 All-EAGL honors,
“We’ve been ranked at or near the top on every event this season, so I think it is only fitting that we would earn a good number of all-league awards,” Butts says. “I think we’ve shown that we’re one of the best teams in the league, and I’m proud of everything that these gymnasts have accomplished. In the end, I know what they really want to win is the league championship. They have a lot more to accomplish this weekend.”
Juniors Alaska Richardson
and Kaylyn Millick
earned their first career honors and joined Sloanhoffer on multiple first teams. Richardson secured a spot on the vault and floor first teams, while Millick was named to the bars and all-around first teams. Millick also earned a spot on the beam and floor second teams.
Junior Chelsea Goldschrafe
and sophomore Amanda Carpenter
also scored their first career awards tonight, as Goldschrafe was named to the vault second team, and Carpenter was honored on the beam second team.
Seniors Tina Maloney
and Nicole Roach
capped off their four-year careers with a combined three honors. Maloney pushed her career total to five, as she was named to the vault and all-around second teams, while Roach, a three-time first team All-EAGL bars honoree, was named to the bars second team.
Maloney also was named the team’s EAGL MVP tonight.
North Carolina’s Morgan Evans was named the EAGL Outstanding Senior Gymnast, while Pitt’s Haley Bodenheimer scored the EAGL Rookie of the Year honor and New Hampshire’s Danielle Reibold was honored as the EAGL Scholar-Athlete of the Year. NC State’s Mark Stevenson was named the EAGL Coach of the Year, and UNH’s Ed Datti and Jess Kelley were named the EAGL Assistants of the Year. Pitt’s Kirk Bruce was honored as the EAGL Administrator of the Year.
The Panthers play host to the 17th EAGL Championship tomorrow at 2 p.m., at the Fitzgerald Field House.