Gymnastics falls at UW-Stout

Story by Anna Soldner

The UW-Eau Claire gymnastics team lost  by the smallest of margins to UW-Stout last Friday at Stout’s Johnson Fieldhouse.

The Blugolds lost the dual by .255 of a point, leaving the final team score 180.475-180.22.

The team started out strong and led by a small margin after two events, but performance started to crumble with the balance beam routines.

Coach Jean DeLisle said she believes the team’s struggles were simply a case of nerves.

“Most of our competitors are returners, so it wasn’t a lack of heart, it wasn’t a lack of trying … they were lacking (confidence) or they were questioning themselves a bit too much,” DeLisle said.

Junior Danielle Schulzetenberg said it was difficult  for a lot of the girls to return after an extended break from competition.

“It was almost like a first meet again and the confidence was a little shaky on some events,”  said Schulzetenberg, who tied for first in the floor exercise with a season-best score of 9.375.

Despite experiencing some considerable setbacks, the Blugolds managed to score multiple personal bests.

Sophomore Olivia Aschenbrenner won the balance beam with a season-high score of 9.250 and took third in all-around competition.

On the vault, junior Cece Solem earned a career-high mark of 9.5 and claimed a second place finish for the team. Fellow junior Rachel Behmer also placed second on the uneven bars with a score of 9.225.

The Blugolds remain optimistic, viewing their loss as incentive to strengthen both their team morale as well as their routines.

“When you lose by 0.25, there’s a little bit of a revenge there that you want,” DeLisle said. “I truly anticipate picking it up this Friday, showing a little bit more confidence going into every routine … trying to go a little bit stronger and showing things off a tad bit more.”

The team travels to UW-La Crosse for the Gershon/McLellan Invite on Friday, Feb. 3. The meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.