Women's Gymnastics

Kara Kapernekas
Kara Kapernekas

RS Senior

Westchester, Ill.

High School:
Immaculate Heart of Mary



Illinois Gymnastics Institute

2004 - RS Junior: Team Co-Captain...Named team's Most Valuable Gymnast by her teammates...Competed bars, beam and floor in all 13 meets and competed all-around in the last seven after joining the vault line-up vs. Ball State...Hit 42 of 46 (.913) routines on the season, including 13 of 13 on uneven bars...Tied her own school floor exercise record with a 9.950 performance vs. Ball State to win the event...Won nine event titles on the season - one on bars, five on beam, two on floor and one in the all-around...Had an outstanding meet vs. Illinois State winning beam (9.800), floor (9.825) and all-around (39.000)...Set or tied career highs of 9.875 on vault at the State of Illinois Classic; 9.850 on bars at UIC and at the South Central Regional; and 9.950 on floor vs. Ball State.

2003 - RS Sophomore: Won the team's Most Outstanding Gymnast and Most Consistent Beam Awards... Competed in the all-around at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships, finishing 20th... Named second-team All-Big Ten...Set the school all-around record with a score of 39.375 at the State of Illinois Classic...Tied the school floor exercise record of 9.950 on 3/8 vs. Iowa...Won five individual event titles and placed in the top three 17 times...Won bars (9.825) and beam (9.875) at Illinois State while taking second in the AA (39.175)...Set a career high of 9.925 when she won the beam at SEMO, and would later equal that mark at the State of Illinois Classic...Won floor vs. Ohio State with a 9.875, and also when she set the school record vs. Iowa.

2002 - RS Freshman: Scored a 9.825 to take first on bars vs. Michigan State...Won beam vs. Pittsburgh with a 9.825...Took third at Iowa on bars (9.800)...Scored a career-high 9.850 to win bars vs. SEMO and also took second on beam (9.800)...Scored a career-high 9.850 on beam at the Illinois State Meet to finish fifth...Took sixth the only time she competed floor with a then career-best 9.575 at Minnesota.

2001 - Freshman: Redshirted the 2001 season.

Competed for Todd Gardiner at the Illinois Gymnastics Institute...Three-time Level 10 National Qualifier...1997 USA Championships Qualifier - finished 25th in the all-around and 13th on beam...1996 Junior National Team member...Participated in the Chicago appearance of the John Hancock Tour of World Gymnastics Champions in 1996.

Daughter of Angelo and Cynthia Kapernekas... Majoring in consumer and textile marketing... Says her mother most influenced her athletic career because she was always there at her competitions, praising her no matter how she did...Made the honor roll all four years of high school.

Getting to know Kara
Nickname: Kaper, Kappy
Favorite Athlete: Michael Jordan
Favorite Movie: Vanilla Sky, Fight Club
Favorite Movie Quote: "Without the bitter, the sweet just ain't as sweet" - Vanilla Sky
Favorite Sports Movie: Caddyshack
Favorite TV Show: Seinfeld, Sopranos, The O.C.
Favorite Singer/Band: Yellowcard
Favorite Actor/Actress: Ed Norton
Excluding Gymnasts, who is your favorite Illini athlete? Dee Brown
Any pre-meet superstitions? Yell "let's go Illinois" at the end of the National Anthem
At what age did you start gymnastics? 5
I've been told I look like: My mom - no one famous
Who is your dream date? Brad Pitt in Ocean's Eleven
The funniest person on the team is: Cara Pomeroy
Biggest sports thrill: Making it to regionals last season and Cara Pomeroy's 10.0 at regionals.
Three words that describe me: Fun, ambitious, understanding
I chose Illinois because: It's the best school! It just felt right; the people, the campus, everything is what I was looking for.

Kapernekas' career highs
Vault - 9.875 at State of Illinois Classic, 3/13/04
Bars - 9.850 - four times, last at NCAA South Central Regional, 4/3/04
Beam - 9.925 - twice, last at State of Illinois Classic, 3/23/03
Floor - 9.950 - twice, last vs. Ball State, 2/21/04
AA - 39.375 at State of Illinois Classic, 3/23/03