Bronco Gymnastics Inks Four For 2013-14
"These athletes are replacing a group of seniors that have seen the program change dramatically," Kuzara said. "They are filling big shoes and are not only capable of maintaining our success but are going to help bring the program to all new heights."
"This is the first class in history that all four athlete comes to us after qualifying to the Junior Olympic Nationals. Arguably this is the best class ever recruited to Western Michigan gymnastics."
Aragon, Corbett, Merritt and Peszek join the program in 2013-14 and will fill the void left by seven outgoing seniors who are approaching their final season at WMU this winter.
Aragon is from Burton, Mich., and competes club at Gedderts' Twistars USA Gymnastics in Lansing, Mich., while attending Carman-Ainsworth High School. She placed eighth on the floor exercise at the 2012 Junior Olympic Nationals and had a sixth-place showing on floor and took 10th on the balance beam at the state meet. She followed that up at the Region 5 meet, taking second on the floor exercise, fifth in the all-around and sixth on vault.
"Brittany is a power gymnast and will make a big impact on the vault, beam, and floor lineups," Kuzara said. "Her tumbling and jumps are sky high and she is the sixh athlete we will have on our squad from Geddarts' Twistars USA."
Corbett hails from Geneva, Ill., and attends Geneva Community High School. She competes for the club program Aerial Gymnastic Club in Downers Grove, Ill. Corbett had three top 20 finishes at the Junior Olympic Nationals, placing ninth on vault, 12th on balance beam, and 20th in the all-around. At the 2012 Illinois state meet, she was the individual champion on the uneven bars as well as all-around, and finished as the runner-up on the vault and third on beam. At the Region 5 meet, she had three top 10 finishes, placing fourth on bars, sixth on beam and seventh in the all-around.
"Anna is a very balanced gymnast being solid on all four events. Beautiful lines combined with explosive gymnastics defines what she will bring to the table here at Western Michigan."
Merritt is a product of Sherwood, Wis., and Kaukauna High School, training at the Oshkosh Gymnastics Center in Oshkosh, Wis. She was a Junior Olympic National competitor and had five top four finishes at the 2012 Wisconsin state meet. Merritt was crowned champion on balance beam and was runner-up on bars, floor and in the all-around, while placing fourth on vault. Merritt had five top-10 finishes at the Region 4 meet, coming in fifth on vault, seventh on bars, fifth on beam, sixth on floor and fourth in the all-around.
"Audrey comes to us from Oshkosh Gymnastics which is the gym current Broncos Michelle and Brittany Adams competed at. She has a wide variety of skills and Audrey will be a factor on every event."
Peszek is from McCordsville, Ind., attends Cathedral High School and competes at DeVeau's School of Gymnastics in Fishers, Ind. She had two top five finishes at the 2012 Junior Olympic Nationals, placing fourth on beam and fifth on bars. She also took 14th in the all-around and 20th on floor. She recorded five top five finishes at the Indiana state meet, taking first on bars, second on beam and in the all-around, fourth on vault and fifth on floor. At the Region 5 meet, she was runner-up on bars, beam and floor and placed third in the all-around.
"Jessie has really come in to her own in the past year. While her strengths would have to be bars and beam she has developed into a big time floor worker and will be in contention for an all-around slot."
Western Michigan has improved every season under Kuzara, who enters his fourth season as head coach. In 2012, the team won seven of its first eight dual meets and five of the team's overall losses were to programs ranked in the top 25 in the nation. The Broncos also tallied four of the program's top-10 all-time scores, including three of the top four, and recorded WMU's highest total ever at the MAC Championship with a 195.000, ranking fourth-best all-time overall.