Redbird Gymnastics Adds Five to 2014-2015 Roster

Nov. 22, 2013

NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State gymnastics head coach Bob Conkling added five new student-athletes during the early signing period for the 2014-15 season, as Laura Jonas (Abington,Pa.), Katherine Locher (Newport News, Va.), Kylie Meyer (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Marie Priest (Lilburn, Ga.) signed National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at ISU, while Megan Knoernschild (Manchester, Mo.) will join the team as a walk-on.

"We are very excited to have five new Redbirds join our team in the fall of 2014," Conkling said. "Each is a very strong and consistent gymnast who will have an immediate impact on our team. We look forward to seeing how they will help us move forward to the next level of NCAA Division I gymnastics."

Jonas, a product of Abington Senior High School, was the 2013 Pink Invitational champion on vault, beam and floor. She has competed as a level 10 gymnast for five years and finished top-three on vault at every meet with a high score of 9.8.

"Laura's strengths are how many years she has competed at a high level along with a very solid vault," Conkling said. "She will definitely help us on vault and beam right away."

Joining Jonas will be Locher, a Tabb High School product who competed as a level 10 gymnast for five years. She was the 2009 State vault, bars, beam and all-around champion and also earned the championship title in the Regional Bars exercise.

"KC's strengths are competing at level 10 for five years and how she will help us on every event, but especially on a beam," Conkling said.

Meyer, a product of Cor Jesu Academy, was the Missouri State floor champion in both 2012 and 2013. She was also the Missouri state beam champion in 2012 and placed second on vault and in the all-around while earning third place on bars.

"Kylie's strength is her very clean gymnastics," Conkling said. "The nice thing about Kylie is I believe that her best gymnastics is still to come. She will definitely help us on floor and beam."



Priest, the Georgia state 2012 all-around champion, joins the Redbird family out of Parkview High School. The 2012 and 2013 state champion on floor exercise, Priest also qualified for the Junior Olympic Nationals as a Region 8 team member in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

"Marie's strengths are her consistency as an all-around gymnast and her power," Conkling said. "Her floor and beam will have an immediate impact for our team."

Knoernschild, a product of Lutheran High School South, will join the team as a walk on. She was the 2013 Missouri state bars champion, while also earning second on the beam and the all-around and third on vault and floor exercises.

"Megan's strength is her potential," Conkling said. "I think she will help us on bars right away, but I believe she will continue to improve each year."

The Redbirds will open the 2014 season at home against Ball State on Jan. 4 in Horton Field House. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.