Gymnastics wraps up season with success

Story by Emily Gresbrink

The gymnastics team took sixth place last weekend at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) National Championships, hosted by UW-Eau Claire.

The two-day tournament yielded high performances from individuals and the team, including three All-Americans and four academic

Head coach Jean Delisle said the girls took top-three in every event except the balance beam, but she definitely does not want them feeling bad about beam or any negative aspect about the weekend.

“They gave it their all and that’s all we can ask for,” she said.

Team Competition — Friday
On Friday, March 25, the Blugolds competed as a team at McPhee. Seven schools from across the country were in attendance, as well as specialists (individual qualifiers) from an additional seven schools.

The competition was close in overall scoring, with the middle four teams placing within one point of each other. UW-La Crosse took home the team title, scoring 191.175.

“(Overall, there were) a couple little mistakes, but those things happen. It’s part of sports,” Delisle said.

Sophomore Danielle Schulzetenberg thought the team did “really well” on Friday.

“I think we all just wanted to have fun and hit our routines, and after having a rough regionals, we just wanted to have fun in our home gym,” she said.

Though the team didn’t win, two individuals made All-American in the all-around competition.

The first was freshman Olivia Aschenbrenner. In the process, she tied for first on balance beam and set a school record with a 9.825. This qualified her for Saturday’s beam final.

“I knew it was a decent (beam) routine, but it didn’t really feel like it was anything super extraordinary,” Aschenbrenner said. “I made everything and … I did what I knew I could.”

Schulzetenberg was the other All-American, taking eighth. She was also the highest finisher for the Blugolds on vault, scoring 9.575, and qualified for Saturday.

Schulzetenberg said receiving All-American was a nice turnaround after the regional meet at on March 12.

“(It) is exciting after a little bit of a rough meet,” she said. “It just makes me more excited for next year.”

The top Blugold on uneven bars was sophomore Rachel Behmer, who scored 9.400, besting Aschenbrenner’s score of 9.175. Both advanced to the event’s final.

Individual Competition — Saturday
On Saturday, Aschenbrenner, Schulzetenberg and Behmer went on to compete individually in bars, beam and vault, respectively. All three earned All-American status in their respective event.

Aschenbrenner scored a 9.675 on balance beam to tie for runner-up.

She also competed on the bars and finished tied for 12th with a 9.000, which was not good enough for All-American.

Behmer tied for fourth on bars with a 9.500 to earn first team honor, and Schulzetenberg finished in a three-way tie for fifth on the vault, scoring 9.575.

Additionally, UW-Eau Claire produced four academic All-Americans: senior Sarah Hulbert, junior Kerri Ritsche, senior Robin Knauf and junior
Kallie Knower.

“Overall this season was amazing. It was fun, the team was great,” Delisle said. “If I had to go back and change anything, I don’t know
if I would.”

For next year, Delisle hopes the team will continue in its current direction.

“We’re making such strides in a positive direction, competitively and relationship wise amongst the young ladies as well as our coaching staff,” she said. “If we keep going in that direction the rest of (our successes) will follow.”