The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Blugolds soar to victory against Simpson College Friday night

Blugolds sweep all events en route to victory
Third-year Harriet Toth attempts on the vault. Photo used with permission from Bill Hoepner.

The UW-Eau Claire gymnastics team improved to 2-1 in dual meets on the season, defeating Simpson College Friday, Feb. 9 at McPhee Center by a score of 187.3 to 183.1. 

From the get-go that evening, the Blugolds came out energized in front of the home crowd on the vault having three Blugolds place in the top five in the event. Having improved vault landings this week was something that the team took a lot of pride in getting right in this meet. 

“I feel that our vault landings were a lot cleaner this week,” second-year Molly Campbell said. “Last week we were trying to go big but this week we really dialed it in.”

Competing in front of a home crowd proved to be a big confidence booster for the team, as the team took pride in putting on a good performance and collecting their second win in dual action this season. 

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“Doing well in front of a home crowd means a lot,” third-year Harriet Toth said. “Moving into another home meet next week I think it’s just going to keep building.” 

Toth and Campbell both placed one and two in the all-around category for this meet, with scores of 37.75 and 31.10 respectively. 

Another showing of high performance by the Blugolds was in the bars category, with four out of top five finishers being Blugolds. 

This includes the one-two combination of fourth-year Tia Ravara and second-year Rachel Hettiarachchy, who scored 9.625 and 9.5 respectively. 

The bars rotation and lineup are something that have been shaken up for the Blugolds and showed significant results in the meet. The improvement on the bars for the Blugolds is something that Toth praised her teammates for. 

“We played around with a different lineup and it ended up paying off,” Toth said. “Our scores got two points higher than our last meet so it’s a really big improvement for us.” 

While there are a lot of positives to be taken away from today’s meet, there are always things for the team to keep working on in the gym in preparation for the next meet according to head coach Jessie DeZiel

“One bad event or a fall we try to do our best to put it in the past and move on,” DeZiel said. “We’re allowed one fall per event that doesn’t count against us so we try to keep ourselves mentally strong if we mess up.” 

Something else the team is looking to improve on, in DeZiel’s eyes, is to “Stay on the equipment and hitting our routines,” she said. “All of us in one night.” 

The energy and excitement is something that this tight-knit group is looking to maintain throughout the rest of the season. 

“We’re a family and we have each other’s backs no matter what,” Toth said. “We practice it in the gym every day and are always cheering so when we come to a meet, there’s more energy and it’s easy to keep cheering and staying together.” 

The Blugolds look to keep the high-flying and high energy going into their next dual meet on Friday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m.  against the UW-Oshkosh Titans at McPhee Center. 

Mikalofsky can be reached at [email protected]

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