On Wednesday morning, Mizzou Gym Shannon Welker and freshman Kennedy Griffin (our first freshman!) met on Zoom with the media to chat about the LSU win, lineup changes, changes, SEC weekly awards, recruiting, road trips, and more!
Here’s what they had to say!
On the atmosphere against LSU:
“I think it was exciting for our student-athletes to, you know, just to have that energy and just to see that we’ve created a kind of a true homefield advantage and the excitement around our program. It’s so, so rewarding. I took a couple of seconds right at the end of that meet to just close my eyes and just listen to what was going on. And it was just fun to hear and just enjoy that.” —MU Head Coach Shannon Welker
“It was definitely really cool, just kind of taking a few seconds tp kind of close your eyes and just take it all in and know that those people were there to watch us and support us and see all the hard work that we have put in so I thought that was really cool. It was a lot of fun.” —Kennedy Griffin
On the excitement/support surrounding the program:
“Obviously we’ve got to have talented young women come in and help us do the things that we feel like we’re capable of doing over the last three to four years. And then we’re now I really feel like our athletic director has put a lot of effort into that fan engagement piece and resources financially to make sure that everybody has the ability to do a great job and market these programs that are doing great things... I think it’s recognizing that hey, you know wrestling, gymnastics and this sport and this sport, they’re all doing well. And so let’s market those things.” —Shannon Welker
Kennedy on her individual improvements as well as that of the freshman class:
“On floor and vault, I’m working towards getting getting a 10. I’m working on my [Yurchenko] 1 1⁄2 (10.0 start value) and just cleaning up the [Yurchenko] Full I’m currently doing. And then also hopeing up cleaning up the little things and working on landings.”
“Honestly, I feel like just we’ve [the freshmen— Hannah, Kennedy, Rayna] built a lot of confidence over these past few weekends. We kind of came in, we made some changes to all of our routines, but we really trusted the coaches and our trainers with what we should do and what can help the team. So I think we really rely on that a lot. And then also just the trust within our team. They trust us to kind of go out there. So I feel like we’ve done a great job just kind of coming in being confident, trusting the training and all our hard work that we’ve put into it.” —Kennedy Griffin
Shannon jumped in:
“I think one of the biggest challenges for newcomers can be is just the consistency of the level of work from day to day to day, and I think they’ve done a really good job with that. If you’re seeing them in our lineups, that’s telling you that hey, look, they come in. They’re not just doing a good job on day one in the preparation, they’re doing a good job on day 1234 across the board, because consistency wins, right? And so that’s what we’re looking for in their preparation phase and I think they’ve done a real nice job of that. They’re not only talented, but they’re doing they’re doing the work at a consistent level every day.” —Shannon Welker
On lineup changes/improvements:
“I guess we’ll let her [Kennedy] keep doing Floor (me: haha), and then, you know, she’s been working hard on getting vault going, and I think we’re getting close, and on beam as well. We’ve got some people that are right there, and the exciting thing is, we have many additional young ladies that are almost ready to go or are ready to go and that’s perfect because this is a good time for us to try to get them into lineups and gives maybe some people a little bit of a rest here and there. We’re in kind of the middle third of our regular season, and I feel like this is the time where, if we can give some a little bit of a break here and there to some people that that will pay dividends down the road.” —Shannon Welker
On the consistency needed to place at Nationals and peaking once you hit that mark:
“I think the last few years, we’ve kind of done a little more of a steep peaking. This year, it’s a little more of a steady incrementally, and so it’s a little bit of a different approach so maybe the difference between the beginning and the end aren’t so drastic.... You have to remember to go back to a lot of the basics and things that you do on a weekly basis. So you can keep things sharp and I think we just continue to go back and refine basics. I use the term extraordinary, and being extra-ordinary is really doing those ordinary things really well extra well. And so we just keep going back to some of those basics and root skills, and that helps keep us sharp. Then I think creating some competitiveness within our lineups, you know? ... So I’d say those are some of the things that we’re trying to make sure we continue to work on to make sure that we continue to move forward.” —Shannon Welker
On strategies within the rotation (i.e. how they’re formed):
“I think you’re trying to build scores, right? You’re trying to start with a good routine. You know, we use tennis as an example; they always put their their best and then they kind of match them up, they pair them up. Strongest, kind of good, to great, right? And so we try to do the same thing. We try to put a really good routine out and then we try to put a great routine out... So I think you look at some of those things,strategically like how do we kind of, you know, just manage a little bit of risk, but also we want to stack scores.”
“And we did feel like I moved Kennedy to fifth in that floor lineup because I felt like that could score big for us if she did what she was capable of doing. I think it could have scored well anywhere but I certainly think you have a better opportunity in the back half of those lineups right there. Getting a good lead off person is critical, too. I feel like a good lead off is more important than any spot in that lineup quite honestly, because you’ve got to get off to a strong start right so you want to put somebody out there that you can rely on to get you off to a good solid start. If you had to count that score, you could do it and it wouldn’t be the end of the world.” —Shannon Welker
“Listen, we’ve got a lot of new people we want you to know, and I think that’s the cool thing that we’ve sold in the recruiting process too is look, you can come here and you can compete first year. You know, last weekend, look at the numbers. Our freshmen accounted for, I think seven of our 24 routines. That’s almost a third of our routines that our newcomers came in and did last weekend. I think that tells you how talented they are. But it also tells you the confidence that we have in them to go out and get the job done.” —Shannon Welker
“So I chose Mizzou just because of the family atmosphere and then the opportunity that the coaches were giving us to compete freshman year, and to really kind of be impactful in any way that we can be. And I think one thing that I really enjoy about this team is how close everyone is and how we work really closely with all the coaches, with our athletic trainer... we kind of really get to know everyone and can feel comfortable sharing anything. We have a lot of fun at practice and that meets and traveling. So I feel like it’s just my home away from home and I just really enjoy coming in every day and working hard.” — Kennedy Griffin
Great stuff from Shannon & Kennedy, and big thanks to Mason Arneson for arranging it.
Watch bars coach, Whitney Snowden, mic’d up.
On to the Links! M-I-Z! GO TIGERS!
Beat the: Pioneers (Texas Woman’s gym), Cowboys (OK State wrestling), Team Black and/or Gold- you must choose one (softball), ‘Dores (MBB), Lady Vols (WBB), and other track teams (there’s a bunch)!
Yesterday at Rock M
- Watkins is back, with The Verdict: Mizzou Hoops Program Building Series Part II — A History Lesson
- A new Rock M Reacts pod... if you dare. From the Beat Boyz— Looking at the program after a loss to rival Arkansas
- Professor Snelling says it’s time for Study Hall: Arkansas 91, Mizzou 84
- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Nate Edwards asks, Corey Batoon: Is he good at what he does? |
- ELSEWHERE, IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Mizzou Football shows off the Battle Line Rivalry trophy
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- Columbia Missourian: Eight Missouri baseball games to be televised on SEC Network (Brandon Haynes) | ‘Tiger Tracks’ ice cream released as part of Mizzou NIL product line (Christian Riley Dutcher) |
- Columbia Tribune: Missouri basketball assistant coach Nutt diagnosed with cancer (Jaden Lewis)
- The Maneater: Starting at the shoelaces: Averi Kroenke’s positive outlook on her foot injury (Dylan Heinrich)
- PowerMizzou: 2025 LB Coleman Lewis back at Mizzou (Sean Williams) | King’s Court: What’s concerning & promising about the Tigers (Drew King)
- ABC 17: New era of Mizzou baseball begins on February 16 (Nathalie Jones)
- MUTigers.com: Mizzou Baseball announces 2024 tv schedule | Track and Field Travels To Kansas State For DeLoss Dodds Invitational | Tennis Extends Road Series With Weekend In Virginia | Softball’s NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic Game to be Aired Live on MLB Network
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Diamond Sports Socials
- New conference champ format coming next year... looks like Mizzou will finally make it, huh? [I kid... I hope]
SCOOP: Beginning in 2025, the @SEC will institute a conference tournament format for baseball that will include all 16 teams in a single-elimination format, I am told. The top four seeds in the tourney would get a double bye in the format as well. #SEC— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) February 1, 2024
- Welcome, Cameron! MIZ!
From Memphis➡️CoMo, INF/OF trades one set of Tiger stripes for ⚫️+ .— Mizzou Baseball (@MizzouBaseball) February 2, 2024
✅Hit .245 with 12 steals and 4⃣ HRs last spring
✅Homered seven times with 29 RBIs as a frosh. at Akron
✅Tabbed preseason MAC Freshman of the Year in 2022#MizzouNOW | ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/hcp76bhlwU
- Thanks for sticking around, Jackson!
INF is ready for a breakout sophomore season in 2024.— Mizzou Baseball (@MizzouBaseball) February 1, 2024
✅ Played in 19 games as a freshman last spring, hitting .294 at home
✅ Came within a triple of hitting for the cycle vs. Texas Southern
✅ 19th round pick of the @Mets in 2022#MizzouNOW | ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/Dh1gwpAwEO
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- Have a listen!
On this @MizzouWrestling #Tiger Style Podcast, @mutigerstyle chats w/ @Keenan_Hagerty & @BeauBaehman to review some results, preview Sunday's Senior Day vs. Oklahoma State, & comment on one Tiger's new match attire.— Mizzou Radio (@MizzouRadio) February 1, 2024
Listen & subscribe here: https://t.co/zW6JnnywF0#Mizzou #MIZ
- End of an era for Peyton Mocco:
- This is great. Thanks for being a Tiger (and taking my class this semester), Steven Kolcheff!
Senior Spotlight:— Mizzou Wrestling (@MizzouWrestling) February 1, 2024
"This has been an amazing journey for me. I'm excited for the next steps of my life, but I will cherish these four years for the rest of my life."
- @SKolcheff#TigerStyle pic.twitter.com/HVs6Bn0uYf
- More data from ... DataMizzou
Tamar has been really good, folks.— Order On The Court ⚖️ (@DataMizzou) February 2, 2024
Three local-ish players populate the top 6. https://t.co/FfhvQRgNRq
- Can he start Saturday?
Annor Boateng was DOMINANT in the Tigers’ home win over NLR pic.twitter.com/2FWR7wvrBd— Little Rock Central Basketball (@LRCentralHoops) February 1, 2024
Mizzou in the Pros
sorry... no time for stats this this week. Back next week, I hope.
- We love you, D-Rob!
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