Natalie SaimeriNatalie Saimeri member of University Of Bridgeport 2012 National Champion Gymnastics Team!
UB gymnasts win 2012 USAG Collegiate National Championships for
fourth year in a row
Monday, April 16, 2012
Extending its stunning winning streak, the University of Bridgeport
(UB) women's gymnastics team won its fourth straight USA Gymnastics
Collegiate National Championships at the Webster Bank Arena over
the weekend in front of more than 1,600 cheering fans who in only a
handful of years have watched the team catapult from virtual
obscurity to establish itself as an unbeatable juggernaut.
UB's Purple Knights topped the championships with 195.575 points,
outpacing second-place Texas Woman's University (193.7), third-
place Pennsylvania (193.475), and the U.S. Air Force Academy
(191.075), which came in fourth.
UB Coach Byron Knox won Coach of the Year for the second time in
With its victory on Friday, the Purple Knights join Texas Women's
as only two teams to have won four consecutive national titles.
"We are making history," junior Monica Mesalles Sallares told the
Mesalles Sallares won the individual all-round competition and
three gold medals in individual events for vault, balance beam, and
floor. Individual events were held Saturday, April 14, at Hubbell
In individual rounds, UB's Lissette La Fex came in second in the
uneven bars. Senior Emily Repko won third in the balance beam. And
Sasha Tsikhanovich won third in floor exercise.
"Congratulations to Coach Byron Knox and all members of the UB
women's gymnastics team for their phenomenal fourth straight
national championship title!" said President Neil Albert Salonen. "A success on this grand scale could not have been accomplished
without the incredibly dedicated efforts of a very large number of
people supporting our athletes,"the athletic staff, facilities,
University relations, publications, and our partners in UNICCO,
Securitas, and Sodexo,"and the very enthusiastic cheering from the
fellow athletes and students, faculty, and staff who were able to
attend,"in many cases with members of their families. A victory for
one is a victory for all; I hope everyone takes a moment to
congratulate our team, and each other, for the proud victory of the
women's gymnastics team this past weekend."
UB Vice President of University Relations Mary-Jane Foster noted
that people from all over the country came to the city of
Bridgeport and the region. I've met families, coaches, friends, fans, "from Virginia, from Texas, out West," who flew or even drove
hundreds of miles to see these teams, and truly, no one was
disappointed. And most especially, I'm so proud of our women
gymnasts for their grit, discipline, and grace. Byron Knox is an
extraordinary coach and mentor to an exceptional group of young
women. I salute them all on this fourth national championship title."
We are so proud of Natalie and her team. Great job!