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Gymnastics Team Announces Three Signees
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Ball State women's gymnastics head coach Nadalie Walsh has announced the signing to national letters of intents by Maria Cross, Tori Crowley and Erin Patchey.

"We are very eager to get all three of these student-athletes on campus," Walsh says.  "We are proud of each of their Junior Olympic accomplishments and we believe the three of them will be a power house for our program.  They all have 10.0 start value routines on every event and they could all be all around gymnasts for the program."

Cross, a native of Virginia Beach, Va., competed for Excalibur Gymnastics for the past 13 years for coaches Gustavo Moore and Dena Walker.  As a Level 10 gymnast in 2011, Cross placed sixth in the all-around at the state meet, while finishing fourth on the bars.  A regional qualifier in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, Cross was the 2010 Virginia State Bars Champion and placed fourth on the bars in the regionals.  Cross, who was homeschooled, is the daughter of Kyle and Debra Defoor.  She owns a 3.9 grade-point average and plans to major in exercise science at Ball State.

"We are really looking forward to adding Maria's clean and refined gymnastics to the program." Walsh says.  "Maria has an amazing work ethic and is very diligent and precise.  We believe her bar routine will be among the best in the Mid-American Conference."

Crowley, a homeschooled student from Friendswood, Texas, owns a 3.7 GPA and plans to major in nursing at Ball State.  She is a Level 10 gymnast and was a national qualifier in 2011.  Crowley finished sixth on the beam and 13th in the all-around at the 2011 championships.  In 2008, Crowley was a Texas state champion as a Level 9 competitor.  Crowley competed for MGA Elite for the past seven years under the direction of coaches Costela Mihaive and Calin Bufu.  She is the daughter of Steve and Lynn Janecek.

"We are excited to welcome Tori to the Cardinals because of her passion for the sport and for Ball State," Walsh says.  "Tori is a very powerful and graceful gymnast.  Her strength and flexibility make her gymnastics look sharp and effortless."

Patchey, who is a senior at Red Hook High School in Rhinebeck, N.Y., competes for World Class Gymnastics under the direction of coaches Jo and Robert Piehler and Erik Quaal.  She was a 2010 national qualifier as a Level 10 gymnast.  In 2009, Patchey was the Level 9 Easterns Vault Champion and a Region 6 all-around champion.  The daughter of Raymond and Eileen Patchey, she is undecided on a college major.

"Erin is a very well-rounded gymnast who has proven to be a consistent competitor," Walsh says.  "She will bring a dynamic floor routine with unique and difficult tumbling to the program, along with an exceptional vault and beam routine."

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