by John Unrein
Grain Valley High School witnessed two of their own sign letters of intent on November 11th during fall national signing day. Kara Eaker and Carley Scott each announced their intent to join the University of Utah and Lindenwood University respectively. Both Eaker and Scott’s families were joined by Activities Director Brandon Hart, Principal Dr. Jeremy Plowman, and Dr. Brad Welle, Assistant Superintendent of Student and Community Services, to celebrate the occasion.
“This is a tribute athletically and academically to the student athletes we are recognizing today. It’s also about the parents. I am a big believer that your children are here today due to your support. The financial and time commitments put forth by parents is a big part of this success. I would like to congratulate both of you on behalf of Grain Valley High School,” Hart said.
Eaker signed to be a part of the University of Utah Utes Gymnastic Team under the direction of Head Coach Tom Farden. Eaker will dawn the White and Crimson colors worn by the Utes in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Kara’s gymnastics has impeccable precision and a mesmerizing flow that our fans will love,” said Farden.
“Her signature event is balance beam where she has been a multiple World finalist. We are thrilled for her to be joining our Red Rock family,”
In a press release, the University of Utah highlights Eaker’s accomplishments as a two-time U.S. Senior National Team member (2018-19, 2019-20) and was a member of the U.S. Junior National Team in 2017-2018. Eaker aided Team USA to consecutive team gold medals at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships, while also shining individually on her strongest event.
Outside of the World Championships, Eaker represented Team USA at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru where she earned a team gold medal, individual gold medal on beam, and silver medal on floor. Eaker earned a team gold medal with Team USA the year prior at the 2018 Pan American Championships. Eaker was also the gold medalist on beam and bronze medalist on floor. Most recently against international competition, Eaker competed with Team USA at the 2019 Gymnix International where she went on to win three gold medals – team, all around, and beam.
Eaker trains at Great American Gymnastics Express (GAGE) and is coached by Al Fong and Armine Barutyan. Eaker will graduate from Grain Valley High School in the spring.
“I chose Utah because they have a focus on academics as much as gymnastics. They support my dreams and goals along with the opportunity to graduate with a degree,” Eaker said.
“The best part of being an Eagle at Grain Valley High School has been the support I have received from my teachers and the friendships that have been created.”
Scott would be the next to sign her letter of intent to join the Lindenwood Lions located in St. Charles, Missouri. The Lindenwood Women’s Gymnastics program is under the direction of head coach Jen Llewellyn and is currently ranked third nationally in NCAA Division II Gymnastics.
Scott's coach, Alisha Robinson, praised her perseverance and work ethic.
"Carley is a determined young lady that I have had the privilege to coach for about 12 years. Her perseverance is above and beyond any athlete I have coached. Her love for the sport of gymnastics is incredible. Her work ethic and her strive for perfection will allow her to achieve all her dreams and goals. I'm extremely proud and honored to be her coach," Robinson said.
Scott has accelerated on the uneven bars during her gymnastic career and is excited to take her talent east next fall.
“I chose Lindenwood due to the beauty of the campus and the team atmosphere I encountered when I visited. I am excited to get the chance to compete at the college level and establish relationships with my new teammates. Gymnastics presents a new challenge to you every day that have to push through,” Scott said.
“My ‘Eagle Time’ teacher Ms. White has been a big help with things like my schedule and making me feel welcome here. All of my teachers, for that matter, have helped me become who I am today.”
Kara Eaker signs her letter of intent with the University of Utah.
Photo credit: Valley News staff
Carley Scott signs her letter of intent with Lindenwood University.
Photo credit: Valley News staff