Millick Named Gymnastics MVP

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • April 28, 2013 04:23 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following her strongest season as a West Virginia University gymnast, senior Kaylyn Millick earned the Linda Burdette-Good Award for the Most Valuable Gymnast at the squad’s 2013 end-of-season banquet, held this afternoon at the Waterfront Place Hotel.

The award, presented annually since the program’s initial season in 1974, is voted upon by members of the gymnastics team. Previously named the Most Valuable Gymnast Award, the new name was adapted in 2011 following Burdette-Good’s retirement after 37 years at the helm.

Millick, a native of Washington, Pa., is the first senior to earn the honor since Chelsi Tabor did so in 2010. She earned 459.1 points, a season personal-best mark, in 12 meets, 11 of which she competed as an all-arounder. An All-Big 12 Championship Team member, she matched or set a career high in each event this season, including the all-around, and reached the podium a team-best 23 times, including 12 first-place finishes.

“Kaylyn epitomized what I expect of all our senior gymnasts, and she is very deserving of this award,” says coach Jason Butts. “She set a goal to compete her best gymnastics in her final season, and she most definitely hit that goal. Kaylyn led by example all throughout 2013, and she has left an important legacy within this program. Her hard work and perseverance is the standard each of our gymnasts should strive to attain.”

Millick finished the year ranked No. 27 nationally in the all-around with a 39.3 regional qualifying score (RQS). After earning a career-best score of 39.4 in a third-place effort against then-No. 2 Oklahoma on Feb. 1, she scored 39.0 or better in all but one meet, finishing the season with eight 39.0+ marks. Millick, the team’s top uneven bars worker, matched her career-best score of 9.9 this season. She also set career highs on floor (9.95), balance beam (9.875) and vault (9.85). Millick’s 9.95 career-high floor score ranks No. 17 in the Mountaineer record book, and she was the first WVU gymnast to earn the mark since 2009.

An Eastern Michigan transfer, Millick finishes her three-year WVU career ranked No. 9 (12) on the career 39.0+ all-around scores chart.

Junior Hope Sloanhoffer won the Joseph Medrick Award as the team’s top all-around gymnast, her second straight recognition. The honor is based on season point total.

A Cornwall, N.Y., native, Sloanhoffer competed as an all-arounder in all 12 meets this season and earned a team-best 468.15 points, the 38th-best total in program history. Steady on all four events, she hit season highs of 9.9 on floor, 9.875 on bars and beam and 9.85 on vault. Additionally, she scored a season-best 39.3 in the all-around on Feb. 1. Sloanhoffer was second on the team this year with 16 podium finishes.

With one year of eligibility remaining, Sloanhoffer ranks No. 4 (18) on the WVU career 39.0+ all-around scores chart. She also is 8.375 points short of breaking onto the WVU career points chart.

Other award winners this afternoon were sophomore Beth Deal (John Quackenbush Award for Mountaineer Spirit) and freshman Melissa Idell (Sally Medrick Award – most improved gymnast). Both honors were voted upon by team members.

Deal, a native of Parkersburg, W.Va., repeats as the John Quackenbush Award winner. A beam specialist, she entered the lineup on Feb. 1 and tallied 87.525 points in eight meets. She hit for a season-high 9.875 and ranked No. 2 on the team with a 9.725 season average. She earned five top-five finishes, including a fifth-place showing at the NCAA Morgantown Regional Championships on April 6 with a team-best 9.825 score.

A native of Newark, Del., Idell’s honor follows a stellar rookie season which saw her tally 96.9 points in 10 appearances on floor. Tasked with opening the lineup eight times, she scored below 9.65 only once and hit for a career-best 9.8 twice.

Gymnasts that passed the 1,000 and 500 career point-total milestones also were recognized this afternoon. Sloanhoffer owns 1,368.975 career points, while Millick and classmate Chelsea Goldschrafe finished their careers with 1,290.3 and 1,226.35 points, respectively. Additionally, senior Alaska Richardson hit the 500 career-point plateau and ended her time at WVU with 741.8 points.

The Mountaineers finished the year at 13-9 and set a program record with scores of 196.0 or better in each regular-season home meet at the WVU Coliseum. The team finished fifth at the NCAA Morgantown Regional Championships and third at its first-ever Big 12 Championship on March 23.