Women's Gymnastics
Landrus Signs Three to Letters of Intent

Kim Landrus signed three gymnasts who seek to make an immediate impact in the 2013-14 season.
Kim Landrus signed three gymnasts who seek to make an immediate impact in the 2013-14 season.

Nov. 15, 2012

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois women's gymnastics head coach Kim Landrus is proud to announce the addition of three gymnasts to the Illini squad for the 2013-14 season. Erin Buchanan (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield High), Mary Jane Horth (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) and Sarah Lyons (New Braunfels, Texas/Canyon High) each signed a national letter of intent with the Illini. 

"It is an exciting day as we add three individuals and their families to Illini nation," said Coach Landrus.  "Each of them will add their own 'special something' to our team next year.  They are very goal-oriented and have the potential to make a great impact throughout their Illini careers.  As a coach, I am confident that Erin, Mary Jane and Sarah will continue to carry out the tradition of excellence that has been instilled in our program.  It will be a rewarding experience to work with each of them on a daily basis."

Profiles on the Newest Illini

Erin BuchananErin Buchanan

Hometown: Haymarket, Va.

High School: Battlefield High

Club: Capital Gymnastics National Training Center

Notes: Four-time Level 10 Junior Olympic National qualifier (2009-12)… Three-time USAG Region 7 All-Star team member (2010-12)… 5th place floor and 18th in the all-around at the 2012 Junior Olympic Nationals… 2012 Virginia State Level 10 all-around champion… Two top-10 finishes at both the 2010 and 2011 Junior Olympic Nationals (2011 - 7th on floor, 6th in the all-around; 2010- 7th on vault, 10th in the all-around)… 2010 Virginia State floor champion… Honor Student 2009-present… "Certificate of Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Performance" awarded 2010-12. Club Coaches are Tatiana Perskaia, Marina Gerom, Oleksandr and Victor Vetrov. 

Coach Landrus on Buchanan:

"Erin is a well-rounded athlete that places high expectations on herself.  This determination to excel, along with her physical ability will allow her to come in and make her mark on Illinois gymnastics.  Her consistency and talent has yielded her great results thus far in her gymnastics career and we anticipate that to carry over to her NCAA career.  She has a true passion for the sport of gymnastics and will be an individual that will not settle for less.  This attitude will push each and every teammate to a higher level."  

Why Buchanan chose Illinois:

"I really like the coaches and the girls on the team. All of the coaches were open and honest with me during the recruiting process - which was very important to me. I think Illinois offers a great balance of top level gymnastics and outstanding academics. I am excited about being a part of the team."

Mary Jane HorthMary Jane Horth

Hometown: Akron, Ohio

High School: Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy

Club: Gym World

Notes: Two-time Junior Olympic National qualifier (2011, 2012)… 2012 Region V All-Star team member… 2012 Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals bar champion, while finishing 7th in the all-around and 8th on floor… 2012 Level 10 Regional floor champion… 2012 Level 10 State vault and floor champion… 2011 Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals 2nd place tie for floor… 2010 & 2011 Level 10 State bar, beam and all-around champion… 2010 Level 10 Junior Olympic NIT all-around champion… Two-time Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup qualifier… 2011-12 National Honor Society member… Ranks second in class in 2012… Club coaches are Ron & Joan Ganim.

Coach Landrus on Horth:

"Mary Jane has the ability to come in and make an immediate impact.  She is a powerful gymnast that excels on both vault and floor.  Her gymnastics potential is exciting as she has already placed in the top ten on multiple events at the Junior Olympic National competition.  This is a testament to her consistency, hard work, and skill level.  We foresee her continuing that level of distinction as an Illini and are eager for her arrival on campus next Fall."

 Why Horth chose Illinois:

"I chose Illinois because it is the absolute perfect match for me. It has high quality academics, a lively campus, and obviously an outstanding gymnastics team! Not only is the gymnastics a competitive program, but also a fun loving and encouraging body of teammates and coaches. I also love the overall atmosphere of the school. It was easy for me to see that God has a plan for me to attend the U of I, because it has everything I was looking for in a college!"

Sarah LyonsSarah Lyons

Hometown: New Braunfels, Texas

High School: Canyon High

Club: Aerial Athletics

Notes: 2012 Level 10 National qualifier… Placed third on bars and ninth in all-around… Four top four finishes at the 2012 Level 10 Region III Championships (3rd-vault and floor; 2nd-bars; 4th-all-around)… 2nd place finish on bars at the 2011 Level 10 State and Regional Championships… 2012 National Honors Society member.

Coach Landrus on Lyons:

"I am very excited for Sarah to join our team next Fall.  Her personality, work ethic and excitement for the Orange and Blue were a few of the attributes that were eye catching throughout the recruiting process.  Every time I talk with Sarah, her persistence to excel is evident.  She truly cares about her success and how that will translate to her Illini career.  At this time, I would say that vault and bars are Sarah’s strongest events, which is a combination that we repeatedly look for when we recruit."

 Why Lyons chose Illinois:

"Top notch academics, a beautiful campus and a tight knit team and coaching staff were a large reason why I chose Illinois. I am absolutely thrilled to be an Illini and am excited about the 2013 signing class."

Final Thoughts:

"Our three signees complement each other extremely well," concludes Landrus. "They all have the ability to come in here and vie for an all-around spot as freshmen which is an exciting position to be in. As a staff, we focused on signing individuals that would address our weaknesses and voids that will be left by our graduating class. We truly believe that these three individuals accomplish that and will allow us to reach our goals as being one of the top programs in the Big Ten and NCAA repeat National qualifiers!"