Photo used with the expressed
permission of Dave Black
1983 US Classic (Juniors: under 14 division): 19th AA
The majority of these results were compiled from information found within 1988 U.S. Nationals program
1985 US Junior National Championships: 5th AA
1985 US Classic: 5th AA, 1st V, 3rd UB
1985 France vs. USA: 4th AA
1986 American Classic: 9th AA, 6th UB
1986 US National Championships: 12th
1986 City of Popes: 2nd AA, 1st V, 1st UB, 3rd BB
1987 US Classic: 3rd AA
1987 Pan American Games: 1st T, 8th AA, 4th V
1987 World Championships: 6th T, 19th AA
1988 US Olympic Trials: 7th AA
1988 US National Championships: 6th AA, 1st V
1988 Mardi Gras Invitational: 2nd UB
1988 Olympic Games: 4th T (team alternate)
Rhonda Faehn, member of the inaugural class ('99) of the Minnesota Gymnastics
Hall of Fame!
Faehn emerged as a strong contender for the 1988 US Olympic Team in 1987, finishing as the top-ranked American in the All-Around (19th
AA) at World Championships. In 1988, Faehn earned perfect
10's at both the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Olympic Trials in vault and
was the 1988 US National Champion on vault. She finished "only"
seventh at the U.S. Olympic trials however, only spot short of a competitive
spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
The traveling alternate to Seoul, Faehn helped out the team whenever
possible on and off the competitive floor. Sadly, Faehn found herself in
the middle of politics during the women's team competition. She was up
on the podium helping fellow teammate Kelly Garrison (formerly Garrison-Steves)
prepare for her uneven bars routine. After Garrison mounted the apparatus,
Faehn removed the spring board. Not wanting to disturb Garrison, she remained on the podium,
crouched down low. An East German noticed and called attention to this, pointing
to an obscure rule in the Code of Points which disallows coaches to remain on
Although Faehn was not a coach, the presiding head
judge on the panel (Ellen Berger, an East German)
penalized the Americans 0.5 of a point. At the end of the night,
the Americans lost the team bronze medal to the East Germans by
0.3. Faehn is certainly not to blame for this deduction. The real wrongdoing is
in the misapplication of this rule. Nothing could be further from the Olympic
spirit than the invoking of this rule.
Photo courtesy of the University of Florida
Since the completion of her elite gymnastics
career, Faehn has found continued success in the sport
of gymnastics. She competed NCAA while attending UCLA (she graduated in
1994 with a B.A. in History), and went on to pursue what has become a decorated coaching career.
Faehn won the 1998 SE and NE Region
Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Association
of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women while serving
as the assistant coach of the University of Maryland's
women's gymnastics team. Prior to her work with Maryland, Faehn assisted the women's gymnastics program at UCLA
for two years and served as head coach of Lanco
Gymnastics Training Center in Lancaster, PA.
Faehn eventually moved to Lincoln to serve as assistant coach at the
University of Nebraska. The primary beam coach, in her first season with
the Nebraska Cornhuskers the girls secured their best regional
qualifying score on beam in history, 49.025. They finished the season with a sixth
place national team ranking on beam (and fourth place ranking overall).
Moreover, Nebraska's Heather Brink became the NCAA all-around champion.
Faehn is now the head coach of the Florida Gators, her first season
in 2002-2003. She has received coaching honors in three
of her four seasons with the Gators (2006 Southeastern Conference Coach
of the Year, 2005 NACGC Southeast Region Coach of the Year, 2003 NACGC
Southeast Region Co-Coach of the Year). The
Gators have advanced to the NCAA Championships each of her four seasons
with the program, and enjoyed their highest finish in 2006, placing fourth at the NCAA
Faehn married a second time in June 2006, to Jeremy
Bayon. (Her first marriage was to Craig Tetreault). The couple are expecting
their first baby in late 2007/early 2008.