`Forty Flames to Follow' in 2013-14: Catherine Dion
June 14, 2013
CHICAGO - Catherine Dion from the UIC women's gymnastics team doesn't lack any motivation when it comes to constant improvement. Becoming a regular in head coach Peter Jansson's All-Around lineup just one meet into the 2012-13 season, Dion topped her previous career-best score in the event eight times, en route to a berth in the NCAA Individual Championships. Dion is Friday's featured student-athlete in the "Forty Flames to Follow" in 2013-14 summer series.
After leading UIC to the 2013 Midwest Independent Conference (MIC) Team Championship, Dion earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships to compete in the All-Around. After the two-day event in early April, Dion finished the competition with an impressive 11th place individual finish. She tallied a score of 38.850, bolstered by a 9.800 on the beam. Dion qualified for the NCAA Championships with a season-best all-around score of 39.075 at the MIC Championships on March 23.
"Last year, Cat's all-around was usually done with bars in an exhibition spot," said Jansson. "That was not the case this past year, as she competed in the all-around in every meet after the season opener. Not only did she become a very good all-arounder; she also hit a big dismount on bars, a move that she made in the three-minute touch period at Regionals.
"At the NCAA's, she hit on all four events and was close to flawless on bars, beam and vault. She really showcased the level of UIC Gymnastics to the nation and with that experience; we expect her leadership to be key in helping lead our team back to the NCAA Championships as a team next year."
Dion, who served as one-of UIC's captains during her junior campaign, hit 100 percent of her vaults on the season. She enters her senior year with a career-best score of 9.775 on vault, 9.875 on the floor, 9.825 on bars and 9.80 on beam.
At the conclusion of the 2012-13 campaign, the Gatineau, Quebec, Canada native was named UIC's Most Valuable Gymnast along with Chantel Turk, and was also tabbed the Most Consistent Beam Worker, along with Erin Duggan.
Dion, who boasts a 3.71 cumulative grade-point-average in UIC's Theatre program, has qualified for the All-State Academic Team all three years, and for the All-MIC Academic Team in each of the past two years. She is also a two-time Scholastic All-American.
Dion and the women's gymnastics team will open the 2013-14 season in the annual "Mixed Pairs" event on Dec. 7. Stay tuned to UICFlames.com for the official release of the 2013-14 schedule.