Paige Williams and Gophers peaking at the right time

first_imgPaige Williams and Gophers peaking at the right timeTony SaundersJunior Paige Williams performs her floor routine at Maturi Pavilion on Friday, Feb 15. Paul HodowanicMarch 14, 2019Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintIn just two months, the Gophers’ women’s gymnastics team has gone from the No. 22 ranked team in the country to No. 9.The Gophers have climbed the rankings steadily each week and have put together their best two performances in back-to-back weeks to vault them into the top-10 nationally and second among all Big Ten teams, trailing only No.7 Michigan.Against Pittsburgh on March 2, Minnesota put up the second-highest team score in program history with a 197.500. Minnesota followed up that performance with a 197.025 at the Elevate the Stage event, the ninth-highest in team history.“I’ve been really proud of the team,” said head coach Jenny Hansen. “They are always searching for more and are never satisfied. … Their expectations keep rising, and I think it has been able to show them what they are capable of.”Paige Williams has led the charge for the Gophers, posting back-to-back career meets. On March 2 against Pittsburgh, Williams finished with a career-high 9.900 on vault, winning the event title. She was also crowned the floor exercise champion for the event with a 9.925. Following the meet, Williams was announced as the Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week for the first time in her career.Williams continued her superior form on March 8 at the Elevate the Stage competition. The Wylie, Texas native finished with another career-high, this time on the floor exercise with a 9.975. The score is tied for the highest in program history; Lindsay Mable, MaryAnne Kelley and Carolyn Yernberg are the only other gymnasts to achieve it.“All her landings were spot-on,” Hansen said. “She’s got great amplitude, but even the little things were done so well that day. I knew it was going to be a great score. I didn’t know what she was going to get but I knew it was going to be a good one.” Her performance aided in posting the one of the highest team floor scores in Gopher history with a 49.475. On Tuesday, the Big Ten announced Williams as the Specialist of the Week for the second consecutive week.“I was pretty excited,” Williams said of the awards. “It just shows that all of my hard work in the gym is paying off.”Williams is currently ranked No.17 in the country on the floor exercise, a huge jump from her No. 40 position at the beginning of the season. Floor exercise wasn’t always Williams’ focus, who came to the University with a passion and focus for the vault. However, with a new routine this year, Williams has been able to show off more of her personality and flare, which has resulted in higher scores.On vault, Williams relies on her explosiveness, something coach Hansen said she and the team are in awe of during practice.“I don’t work on it so much; I think it just happens,” Williams said. “It just seems to come with my gymnastics.”Williams and the Gophers look to continue recent success in their final regular-season meet of the year Friday March 15, taking on No. 7 Michigan, No. 19 Missouri and Centenary in Columbia, Missouri. before heading to Pennsylvania for the Big Ten championships.“I want them to keep doing what they are doing; I don’t want to change anything,” Hansen said. “Our consistency has been great; we are just trying to do the little things well. That’s the theme of the week: Everything matters [and] little things lead to big moments, so that’s what we are trying to do.”last_img read more

Farmington School Board candidate: Zach Rich

first_imgFarmington Voice is profiling the four candidates running on November 6 for two open Farmington Public Schools Board of Education seats: Pam Green, Jeff Grynaviski, Mark Przeslawski, and Zach Rich. Zach Rich (contributed)Zach Rich’s first political experience came at the tender of 6, when he handed out election materials and urged people to vote for the school bond, and “don’t vote for the vultures.”“I meant vouchers, but I was six years old with a speech impediment,” said Rich, 24, who is one of four candidates seeking two Farmington Public Schools Board of Education seats on November 6.Rich now holds a Bachelor’s degree in public affairs and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Wayne State University. The Farmington Public Schools graduate says his experience as a student in the district gives him “a different perspective than anyone else.”“Education has always been important to me,” he said. “You can see with the work I’ve done and with my mom as well. Education is the key that unlocks so much later in life.”(His mother, Theresa Rich, serves on the Oakland Schools intermediate district board of trustees and is a Farmington Hills city council member.)Rich pointed out that Oakland Schools offers a certification program that gives students “a leg up” as they pursue careers in the trades. He’s also like to see an upward expansion of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math) in Farmington Schools.“STEAM is fantastic K-8, but what’s the next step?” he said. “Children are instinctively builders. We need to be able, as a district, to foster that, so there’s a path if this is something a child loves.”The Farmington Schools minority achievement gap is one of Rich’s top concerns, along with a “perceived difference” in the quality of education based on where people live.“No matter what school you attend, what language you speak, or your tax bracket, you should have access to the same high quality education,” he said.Rich has spoken at recent school board meetings about restoring media specialist positions in each school; currently, a single media specialist serves the district.“Their job is to help students determine fact from fiction,” he said. “They teach you how to back up your argument, help you think better and learn better. I can’t say enough about the impact they have on a child’s ability to succeed in life.”The board members elected in November will help select a new superintendent, as Dr. George Heitsch is expected to retire, perhaps as soon as next spring. Rich said the Board of Trustees first has to decide on a vision for the district, and from there, find a leader who can make that happen.Rich said he has endorsements from three current school board members – Angie Smith, Terry Johnson, and Jim Stark. “They come from very different backgrounds. They know we won’t agree on a lot of things, but at the end of the day, we’re civil with each other. I’m very proud that I can work with people no matter where they stand on the issues.”He also has had supportive conversations with former teachers and knows they could end up on opposite sides as the district negotiates employment contracts.“What I hear from them is ‘you’re going to do a fantastic job’,” Rich said. “We will sometimes come down on opposite sides, but I’d be voted in by the community, and that’s my first obligation.” Correction: Zach Rich’s first name was misspelled in the headline on the original version of this post.  Reported by admin Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)last_img read more

The ‘Alpha Factor’ – Jamaica gymnastics lands partnership with American apparel company

first_imgJamaica Amateur Gymnastics Association (JAGA) president Nicole Grant says the body has signed a deal with an overseas apparel company to provide gear for the national teams over the next two years. Grant, who made the announcement at a press conference at the Jamaica Olympic Association head office in Kingston on Sunday, said Perform Group, based in York, Pennsylvania, saw Jamaica’s gymnastics as a “viable and important part of their family” and reached out to JAGA to provide support. Alpha Factor, the gymnastics apparel division of Perform Group, will now be the exclusive supplier of leotards for Jamaica’s junior and senior elite teams. “We’re incredibly happy to have the opportunity to outfit these elite Jamaican gymnasts in our apparel,” Perform Group president Tighe King said. “Our Alpha Factor division creates some of the best practice and competitive leotards in the industry. Having Jamaican national gymnasts showcase our apparel on international stages will highlight the amazing design work being done at Alpha Factor. “Each gymnastics team member will be outfitted with several styles – everything from our latest half-sleeve styles to custom long-sleeve leotards and men’s tanks. Our ability to do in-house digital printing on our fabrics means the designs can be incredibly intricate, unique, and cutting edge in appearance.” Grant describes the partnership as a “wonderful journey”. “We see this as a mutually beneficial partnership that will benefit both organisations by having our gymnasts showcase such a well-made and prestigious brand. “Perform Group’s Alpha Factor division will outfit Jamaica’s junior elite team for the first Junior World Championships in Hungary (next month). The following month, Jamaica’s senior gymnasts will compete in Alpha Factor apparel for the team’s historic first-ever appearance at the Pan-Am Games.”last_img read more

Reading 3-3 Wolves: Murray serves up share of the spoils for the Royals

first_img Glenn Murray 1 A late Glenn Murray strike saw Reading claim a share of the spoils in a 3-3 thriller with Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Madejski Stadium.Kenny Jackett’s Wolves have had an excellent start to the season and were looking for a winner which could have taken them into second position, ahead of Nottingham Forest but behind table toppers Norwich on goal difference.Instead they found themselves behind after 19 minutes as Royals centre-back Michael Hector headed home Oliver Norwood’s cross after a short corner routine.Whatever Jackett said to his troops at half-time did the trick in Berkshire as with ten minutes the games had been turned on its head.Former Reading star James Henry fired home their leveller just six minutes into the second period and moments later Lee Evans applied the finishing touch after a mistake from Jordan Obita.One minute after Wanderers had claimed the lead, Reading hit an equaliser with Jake Taylor slotting home from Simon Cox’s pass.And it looked like Wolves were to have the final word when David Edwards flicked the ball over the goalline – just.But, with just seconds left of normal time, Murray was on hand to fire the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the area to seal a share of the spoils.last_img read more