Lawrence Named to All-Big 12 Gymnastics Team

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • March 20, 2013 01:33 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University freshman gymnast Jaida Lawrence has been named to the 2013 All-Big 12 Gymnastics Team, as announced by the conference office today.

The Rocky Hill, Conn., native earned a vault recognition. She was the only gymnast from the No. 25-ranked Mountaineer squad (13-7, 1-1 Big 12) selected. No. 2 Oklahoma placed six gymnasts on the team and secured the remaining 13 honors.

“It feels great to represent WVU,” says Lawrence. “We’ve come so far this year as a team, and we’ve all worked so hard. I always want to represent well for the Mountaineers, so I’m excited to receive this award for my teammates.

“The transition to college has been difficult this season, but it’s still the same gymnastics. I had to make the same adjustments that all freshmen have to make, and I’ve had to work hard to keep up with my classes, but gymnastics has always been pretty easy for me, and I think the move to the college level has gone well.”

The all-conference team includes the top three gymnasts with the highest regional qualifying score (RQS) in each event and two all-around competitors. RQS figures are based off the final regular-season GymInfo Poll, released on March 18.

Lawrence currently ranks No. 3 in the Big 12 on vault with a 9.89 RQS; she ranks No. 34 nationally and No. 8 in the southeast region. After earning 9.85 for her second career vault at Utah on Jan. 19, she has scored 9.875 or better in each of the following meets. She has hit for a career-best 9.9 four times and has won the event six times. Through 10 meets, she averages 9.867 per vault.

Lawrence also has competed on the uneven bars in each meet this season and hit for a career-high 9.8 on Feb. 10. She also saw time on floor three times and owns a 9.692 career average.

Lawrence was named the Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Week yesterday, her second career honor; she also was recognized on Jan. 15.

Two Mountaineers just-missed qualifying for the All-Big 12 Gymnastics Team. Senior Kaylyn Millick ranks No. 5 (9.875) on floor, while classmate Alaska Richardson ranks No. 6 on vault (9.86) and floor (9.865).

WVU opens the postseason at its first Big 12 Conference Championship this Saturday, March 23, at Iowa State’s Hilton Coliseum, in Ames, Iowa. The meet, set for a 3 p.m. EST start, will be televised by FOX Sports Net on a date to be determined.