Tiger Talk

Missouri Gymnastics Adds Three for 2013

Posted: Nov 16, 2012 9:48 AM

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COLUMBIA -- The Mizzou Women's Gymnastics program and head coach Rob Drass announce the addition of three Tigers to the team in 2013. Alyson Heimsath, Lark Pokladnik and Sasha Sander have signed national letters of intent to join the Mizzou Gymnastics family next season.

"We are extremely excited to welcome these three new Tigers to the Mizzou Gymnastics family," head coach Rob Drass said. "Not only are they are three great gymnasts, but these girls are excellent students and wonderful people. We expect that Alyson, Lark and Sasha will help give our team even more of a competitive edge as we strive to win SEC Championships and earn National Championship Invitations. We know these young ladies will be fantastic representatives of our program and they will become fan favorites in years to come."

Alyson Heimsath will come to Mizzou from Houston, Texas, where she trains under Debbie Kaitschuck at Stars Gymnastics. She is an accomplished gymnast as she is a Level 9 Texas State All-Around Champion. She is also a Level 9 Regional and Western Nationals All-Around Champion. Heimsath took home the level 9 State vault, bars and beam titles as well. In 2012, Heimsath placed seventh at Regionals and qualified for JO Nationals. She boasts career-high scores of 9.750 on beam, 9.675 on bars, 9.700 on vault and 38.625 in the All-Around. While she excels in the gymnastics arena, Heimsath is also a star in the classroom. She is in the top 10% of her graduating class at Conroe High School. Heimsath chose to come to Missouri because loved the coaches, the team and the campus and she felt it was the perfect fit for her.

Dallas, Texas native, Lark Pokladnik, currently trains at the No. 1-ranked Metroplex Gymnastics in Allen, Texas. Pokladnik is a former Elite gymnast, and she has qualified for the NIT four times in her career. She is a Texas State Bar Champion and she won the Houston National Invite All-Around title. Pokladnik placed sixth in the all-around at the 2011 Level 10 Texas State Championship, and she took home the vault and beam titles at the Alamo Classic. In 2010, Pokladnik earned the Level 10 Texas State uneven bars title as well. In addition to her gymnastics abilities, Lark is also a three-year honor graduate and an academic letter winner. She is a member of the National Honor Society and she is also a Garland ISD Star Scholar.

Sasha Sander will come to Mizzou from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she trains at Perfection Gymnastics under the direction of Enrique Trabanino and Lucas Wasson. Before settling in Ohio, Sander also trained at several other gyms including the Lynchburg Academy in Lynchburg, Va. and Champion Gymnastics in Louisville, Ky. Sander is a three-time Level 10 Region 5 competitor, and in 2011 she earned a 23rd place finish in the all-around at the U.S. Junior Olympics. She finished second in the all-around at the 2011 Kentucky State meet, and also took first place in the all-around at the CGA Coaches Spectacular. She earned a second place finish on beam and a fourth place finish on vault at the 2011 Region 5 competition. She also earned a top five finish on both vault and beam at the 2012 Regional meet. In any spare time she may find, Sander chooses to volunteer with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and is also a part of Beta Club. When asked why she chose Mizzou, Sander said, "Because the student athlete support system is amazing; the coaches, team, and staff make you feel right at home, and are so talented at what they do. Also, the facilities are top notch. I just love everything about it!"

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