Nov. 12, 2014
Michigan State gymnastics head coach Kathie Klages announced on Wednesday, Nov. 12, the addition of four gymnasts for the 2015-16 season. The gymnasts include Brittini Chappell (Flint, Michigan/Grand Blanc High School/ Aga Gymnastics), Drew Hendershot (Winston-Salem, North Carolina/Forest Trail Academy/ High Point Gymnastics Center), Jessica Ling (Walled Lake, Mich. /Walled Lake Central High School/ Oakland Gymnastics Training Center), and Roya Shirley (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville High School/ Ocean Tumblers).
"This entire class has already bonded - we got to witness it on their official visit to campus," said Klages. "Their talent level and experience will greatly enhance our program. As a coaching staff, we believe this class is one of the strongest on record. Their passion to become Spartans is undeniable and will be contagious for years to come. We anxiously await their arrival."
Brittini Chappell (Flint, Michigan/Grand Blanc High School/ Aga Gymnastics)
Competes for AGA Gymnastics in Flint, Mich. and is coached by Julie Fair... Attends Grand Blanc High School... Participated in the Region 5 Regional Championships in 2013, and placed fourth in the all-around and third on floor... Was a 2013 and 2014 Junior Olympic National qualifier, placing ninth all-around in 2014... Daughter of Ken and Sandy Chappell.
on Chappell: Brittini is a gymnast that we have had our eye on for a long time. She was heavily recruited, and when she decided to become a Spartan the coaching staff was ecstatic. Brittini comes from a very disciplined and hardworking program, and shows very strong leadership qualities. She is extremely talented and has had success at the national level. We expect Brittini to make a huge impact on our program.
Drew Hendershot (Winston-Salem, North Carolina/Forest Trail Academy/ High Point Gymnastics Center)
Competes for High Point Gymnastics Center in North Carolina, where she is coached by Buddy Thorburn and Rob Travers... Was homeschooled through Forest Trail Academy... Participated in the 2013 Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament, where she placed first on vault, third on bars, fifth on floor, and second all-around... Competed in the 2014 Region 8 Regionals, where she placed fifth on floor... Competed in the 2014 Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament, placed seventh on vault, fourth on floor, and fifth all-around... Daughter of Bill and Lori Hendershot ... Has one sister, Hope.
on Hendershot: Drew fell in love with MSU on her first visit. Though we are a long way from home, she couldn't see herself going anywhere else, even if it gets bitterly cold in Michigan compared to North Carolina! Drew brings a great work ethic and love for the sport to our collegiate program. She will vie for an all-around spot with our team. Her academic accomplishments and commitment to her sport will be an asset to our program .
Jessica Ling (Walled Lake, Mich. /Walled Lake Central High School/ Oakland Gymnastics Training Center)
Competes for Oakland Gymnastics Training Center, where she is coached by Ruth Miller, Mel Foster, Renee Henry and Stefanie Schmaltz... Attends Walled Lake Central High School... Was a 2012 Nastia Liukin Cup Qualifier ... Competed in the 2012 Michigan Level 10 State Championships, where she placed fourth on vault, third on bars, fourth on floor, and third all-around ... Competed in the 2012 Region 5 Regional Championships, placing second on bars, fifth on floor, and third all-around ... Was a 2012 Junior Olympic National Qualifier... Competed in the 2014 Region 5 Regional Championships, where she placed first on bars and sixth all-around ... Competed at the 2014 Junior Olympic Nationals, where she placed fifth on bars... Daughter of Dan and Kathie Ling ... Has two sisters, Amanda and Jenna.
Klages on Ling: Jessica brings a wealth of national experience with her Nastia Cup qualification and her JO National appearances. She is a on the tall side, and displays beautiful lines and artistry. Jessica is strong on our thin events, so she will make an immediate impact on creating depth within our line-up. Jessica is coached by Ruth Miller, who, along with her husband Chris, were sophomores at MSU during my very first season; because of this I feel Jessica was born to "bleed green". It is a thrill to have her join our program and continue the "legacy".
Roya Shirley (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville High School/ Ocean Tumblers)
Competes for Ocean Tumblers in Virginia Beach, VA and was coached by Rick Walker and Erin Berry-Sams ... Attended Kempsville High School... Was a 2010 Junior Olympic National Qualifier... Competed at the 2012 Level 10 Virginia State Championships, where she placed second all-around... Participated in the 2013 Virginia State Championships, placing first on bars, third on vault, and fourth all-around... Was a 2013 NIT Qualifier... Was a 2013 and 2014 Region 7 Qualifier... Competed at the 2014 Virginia State meet, where she placed third on vault, second on bars, and third place all-around... Competed at the 2014 National Invitational Tournament, finishing seventh on bars and seventh all-around... Daughter of Reginald and Adrienne Shirley.
Klages on Shirley: Roya is a very powerful gymnast and, like Jessica, is strong on our thin events. She came to summer camp before her junior year and we were not only impressed with her skill level; but also her "whatever it takes" attitude. Roya has a flair and charisma to her gymnastics and will be an instant Spartan stand out. We are so excited to welcome her to our MSU family.