Ute sophomore gymnast/biology major Kristen Kenoyer planned to spend her summer taking physics and working.
That's out now.Kenoyer will instead spend most of her summer training, learning new gymnastics skills and traveling to England as the United States' No. 1 qualifier in women's gymnastics to the World University Games to be held in Essex, England, in mid-July.
Kenoyer won the U.S. trials for the World University Games Friday at Oregon State University, scoring 38.475 all-around to 38.45 for Oregon State's Joy Selig, 38.275 for Massachusetts' Tammy Marshall and 37.95 for Aimee Trepanier of Phoenix's Desert Devils Club.
Those four comprise the U.S. team. Oregon State's Chari Knight and Amy Durham (of Salt Lake City) were fifth and sixth and are alternates.
Trepanier is a University of Utah recruit who starts there in the fall.
Utah junior Shelly Schaerrer suffered a fall on balance beam and finished ninth, not qualifying for the team.
"Kenoyer really stood out above everyone else," says Utah assistant coach Jim Stephenson, who accompanied Kenoyer and Schaerrer to the meet and said he just stood back and watched Kenoyer go. "I felt like Kristen was in such great shape and knew exactly what she wanted to do. I just got her there," Stephenson said.
Stephenson said judges decided before the meet to score tightly, as they imagine will be done in the Games, and to grade harshly in the areas that might look weak in international competition. He said Kenoyer's scores would have been .2 higher per event in normal collegiate scoring, and she looked better in this meet than in the NCAAs.
Stephenson noted many mistakes in the meet, with the collegians fatigued after peaking for the April 19 NCAAs and the freshmen-to-be feeling pressed to do well. He said Trepanier, however, chose to enjoy herself at the meet and looked much-improved from when the Utes began recruiting her.
Says Kenoyer. "I didn't have that awesome a meet. Everyone was falling, and all I had to do was hit. I was glad I won."
Utah Coach Greg Marsden says Kenoyer "thought long and hard about changing her plans for the summer, but it was important to her."
Kenoyer said it was difficult to compete just two weeks after the NCAA championships (Utah was second; she was fourth all-around), but, she said, "I just wanted to go on to represent the United States and thought it would be a fun thing to do."
It will be her first real international experience, although she was in the elite class before coming to Utah. She was supposed to compete in a meet in China several years ago but injured an ankle three days before the meet. Kenoyer did compete against the Soviets in the U.S., and her club team, Parkettes (Pennsylvania), competed in England in 1987.
"I can't wait to go back," she says.
"She likes this opportunity," says Stephenson. "It takes her to a whole 'nother realm.
"This experience will be great for her, and consequently for us," said Stephenson.
That's because Kenoyer will begin early training on new skills for the next college season. Her routines are good enough for international competition, says Marsden, but he wants her to avoid boredom while working out by herself, so changes will be made.
World University Games U.S. Trials
At Oregon State University
Top 4 comprise U.S. team
Place/gymnast V Ub Bb Fe AA
1. Kristen Kenoyer, Utah 9.625 9.5 9.7 9.65 38.475
2. Joy Selig, Oregon State 9.65 9.525 9.625 9.65 38.45
3. Tammy Marshall, U. Massachusetts 9.675 9.5 9.6 9.5 38.275
4. Aimee Trepanier*, Desert Devils, Phoenix
9.55 9.475 9.425 9.5 37.95
9. Shelly Schaerrer, Utah 9.4 9.575 8.7 9.525 37.2
* - Will be University of Utah freshman in fall.