MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Big 12 Conference honored two West Virginia University gymnasts today, as Alaska Richardson
was named the co-Event Specialist of the Week and Jaida Lawrence
was named the Newcomer of the Week.
“I’m thrilled that we opened the season with two weekly award winners, especially in our first week as members of the Big 12 Conference,” says second-year Mountaineer coach Jason Butts. “I think this speaks well of things to come.”
Richardson, a Dayton, Ohio, native, opened her senior season strong, as she tied for wins on vault (9.825) and floor (9.9) in the Mountaineers’ season-opening victory at Pitt on Jan. 11. Richardson’s floor score matched her career best, a mark she hit only once in 2012.
Lawrence, a freshman from Rocky Hill, Conn., hit all three of her routines in her first collegiate meet. She reached the podium on bars, finishing in a tie for second place with a 9.775 score. Lawrence also placed sixth on vault with a 9.725 mark and anchored the Mountaineers’ floor lineup with an eighth place, 9.75 showing.
The No. 22-ranked Mountaineers (1-0) earned their best-ever season-opening road score in their 194.675-193.55 victory over the Panthers. WVU was especially strong on floor, as the team scored 49.025, a mark that equaled its fourth-best performance in 2012.
The Mountaineers continue their season-opening road trip this weekend, as they compete at No. 15 Utah, with No. 20 Southern Utah and No. 23 Oregon State, on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 9 p.m. EST, at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.