Junior Rachel Fincham will compete in the National Championships on Friday, April 20 at 6p.m.
Under Starkell's leadership in 2014, the Wolfpack saw Brittni Watkins and Stephanie Ouellette finish the season with All-EAGL First Team honors on the uneven bars, while Kristen Harabedian finished on the All-EAGL Second Team. The Pack finished last season with a season-best 48.875 on bars, including a season-best 9.925 from Ouellette in her final home meet against New Hampshire.
The 2013 campaign saw Rachel Fincham named to the All-EAGL First Team on the uneven bars for the third time in her career, while Stephanie Ouellette was named to the All-EAGL Second Team on bars. Fincham finished the season second in the EAGL and tied for 11th in the Southeast Region on the bars. State posted a season-high score of 49.100 on the bars during the season at the Sweetheart Invitational and saw 21 scores above a 9.8 on the season, including Fincham with a 9.9 against Georgia.
In his second season with the Pack in 2012, Starkell guided Fincham to a first-place finish at the NCAA Regionals and advance to the NCAA Championships. On bars, Starkell led State to the top regional qualifying average in the conference (48.960). Under Starkell's guidance, State boasted two gymnasts on the All-EAGL first and second team on bars. The Wolfpack posted a season-best score of 49.225 on the bars against Kent State and saw 30 scores above a 9.8, including a 9.9 by Fincham at NCAA Regionals and against BYU.
Prior to taking over as head coach, Starkell served as an assistant at Illinois for six years. In 1998, he was named Central Regional Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women.
Before Illinois, Starkell assisted at Wisconsin-Oshkosh while finishing his bachelor's degree, eventually becoming the men's and women's head coach in 1993 after earning a B.S. in physical education.
In addition to his collegiate coaching, Starkell gained experience training young athletes at the Oshkosh Gymnastics Club, and coached for five years at the International Gymnastics School in Pennsylvania.