PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Nov. 16, 2013) – The Rutgers gymnastics program added two new members to the 2014-15 roster during the early signing period, head coach Louis Levine announced. The Scarlet Knights will welcome Elizabeth Groden (Abbottstown, Pa.) and Makenzey Shank (Phoenix, Ariz.) to campus next fall.
"We are really excited to welcome Makenzey and Elizabeth into our Rutgers family," Levine said. "These are two great student-athletes from great families who will help us to build upon the momentum we have created both in the classroom and on the competitive floor."
Elizabeth "Libby" Groden
Abbottstown, Pa. (New Oxford High School)
Why Rutgers? “I chose Rutgers because I wanted to attend a great university where I can get fantastic education but also have the opportunity to compete in the sport I love – gymnastics. I especially liked Rutgers for all of these reasons. I plan to further my studies in art at the Mason Gross School of Art. In attending a school with a great reputation as well as being so close to the New York and Philadelphia art hubs, I believe I will have the opportunity to be successful from both an academic as well as athletic perspective. From the moment I walked on to the campus, I immediately said to myself, ‘I can really see myself going here.’ I am very excited to become a Scarlet Knight and can’t wait to start competing for Rutgers University next year!”
Notes: Member of the Hanover Gymnastics Club for nine years ... competed at the Level 9 Eastern JO Nationals ... a Level 10 Regional Qualifier ... earned the Youth Leader of the Year Award by the Hanover YMCA ... member of the National Honor Society at New Oxford ... elected as President of the National Art Honor Society ... served as historian for her class in student government ... received distinguished Honor Roll all four years … intends to study at the Mason Gross School of Art … has one sister, Rachel … daughter of Michael J. and Susan (Beth) Groden … born 11/23/95.
Levine on Groden: "Libby is a powerful gymnast with a large array of skills in her repertoire on all four events, which will allow her to challenge for a spot in the all-around as a freshman."
Makenzey "Micki" Shank
Phoenix, Ariz. (Saguaro High School)
Why Rutgers? “When I visited Rutgers I felt very comfortable with the team and the coaches. I am very excited to be part of such a great team and attend a school where I can pursue my academic goals.”
Notes: Member of the Desert Devils Gymnastics Club ... competed as a member of the Arizona Level 10 State Championship team all seven years with the Devils ... former state champion on the balance beam and the floor ... two-time regional silver medalist on the balance beam ... an honor student at Saguaro High School, boasting a 4.0 GPA … participated as a member of a rock climbing team … has played classical guitar for the last nine years … intends to major in marine sciences … has a brother, Andrew … daughter of Albert and Tracy Shank … born 8/27/96.
Levine on Shank: "Makenzey is an aesthetically pleasing gymnast who has really raised the level of her skill difficulty over the last year. She will arrive on campus in the fall challenging for a spot on all four events.”