Blugold women’s gymnastics struggles to stick the landing

Eau Claire is unable to secure a victory against Hamline, losing by a two point margin

More stories from Nicole Bellford

he Blugold women’s gymnastics team came close to victory, but was unable to pull through as Hamline took the title with a final score of 183-181 points.

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he Blugold women’s gymnastics team came close to victory, but was unable to pull through as Hamline took the title with a final score of 183-181 points.

The Blugold women’s gymnastics team came up just short this past weekend in their meet against Hamline University, finishing the competition with 181 points behind Hamline’s 183.

Senior communication studies student and team captain, Sarah Engstrom, said she believes that while the team’s performance wasn’t their best, their loss served as motivation to work even harder.

“We had a couple uncharacteristic mistakes on different events,” Engstrom said. “However, I think it’s giving the whole team a stronger fight to keep improving and be the best we can be in the weeks ahead.”

Despite the loss, the Blugolds were still able to secure a handful of individual victories and top three finishes across the board.

The Blugolds made a clean sweep in the uneven parallel bars event, capturing the top three spots in the meet. Senior Jessica Dhaene and and freshman Megan Fayler both earned scores of 9.325, tying for first place. Hannah Lewis followed closely behind with a score of 9.275 taking third place.

Senior Erin Olson secured another victory for the Blugolds, taking the top spot in the floor exercise with a score of 9.525.

Sophomore Kiya Bjorge was the top finisher for Eau Claire in the vault, taking second overall with a score of 9.325. Sophomore Lauralynn Anderson followed Bjorge with a score of 9.250, capturing fourth place. Anderson was the Blugolds’ top finisher in the balance beam, securing third place overall with a score of 9.425.

“This past weekend was a bit of a rough meet for us,” said Anderson, an ecology and environmental biology student. “There were definitely some great things, but we had a lot of flukey mistakes that we don’t usually make. We can definitely do better.”

Olson, a senior nursing student said that the Blugold’s loss this past weekend does not accurately depict their season’s success. She said that in the team’s first meet of the season, they earned the second highest score in Eau Claire gymnastics history, as well as a record breaking team overall balance beam score. Olson said that despite the setbacks the Blugolds endured in the form of little mistakes, illness, and injury, she has confidence in her team.

“We perform with determination, confidence, power, grace, and so much fun that there isn’t a doubt in my mind that the only direction we can go is up,” Olson said. “We have the determination and the support of each other which will continue to drive us to hopefully the top.”

The Blugolds will compete again this coming Friday at the Harley Invite in Milwaukee at 7 p.m.