Lone Senior Leads Missouri Gymnastics

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri men's basketball team isn't the only MU team with a lone senior. The gymnastics team has its version of Justin Safford in Alex Gold. Gold's teammates say she is always looking to have fun.

"She likes to be goofy at the gym, and we all love that about her," said junior gymnast Allie Heizelman.

"She's always doing something funny, or you know saying something or imitating someone," said junior gymnast Mary Burke.

But that hasn't stopped Gold from excelling in the classroom, where she just took academic Big 12 honors for the third time.

"I think I've learned very well how to time manage. Balancing school and athletics is very difficult so I think that will help me in the future," said Gold.

Gold was also one of 16 finalists in the country for the American Athletic Inc. award, which recognizes the top senior gymnast nationwide.

"So having her be a good enough gymnast to be a candidate for that, but then also having the grades to be a candidate for it, and the community service to be a candidate for it," said coach Rob Drass.

Gold has a lot of pressure being the only senior, so she's relying on her teammates to help her out.

"The juniors, Mary and Allie, and even the sophmores have kind of stepped up, and we all help each other out, so it's not just me leading, it's kind of everyone," said Gold.

In addition to Gold, five other Tigers, including Heizelman and Burke, took academic Big 12 honors.

The Tigers will host the Big 12 championship on Saturday at 2pm in the Hearnes Center, where Gold will participate in the all around category.