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

    ‘Golds confident on season

    The women’s gymnastics team, consisting of 14 members, will begin its season competition this Friday against Hamline University (Minn.).

    Hamline qualified for nationals last year and has been traditionally strong, assistant coach Matt Tobin said.

    “This meet will be a good measuring stick as to where the team is going, but we feel confident going in and performing,” Tobin said.

    Senior Lara Harris agreed.

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    “This is one of the best teams we have had here, and the first meet the freshmen will gain some experience,” she said. “It is a starting point for the season, and we want to start on the right foot.”

    Coach Lisa McIntyre is in her seventh year as the head coach of the Blugold gymnastics team. As of now she is coaching part-time, because she is on maternity leave.

    With Tobin’s help, McIntyre is expected to be back full-time for the UWEC Invitational Jan. 25, the Blugolds first home meet of the season.

    Last season the Blugolds finished in third place at the WIAC Championships, tying the school’s highest conference finish in the last 19 years.

    “We look to do well at the conference regional meet to prepare for nationals,” Tobin said.

    Within the past seven years the Blugolds broke every individual and team record in school history.

    “We want to break more records this year and get into conference,” Harris said.

    The team has new freshmen and two transfers.

    Tobin said.that the team has strong returning gymnasts this year, and that the freshmen and transfers add to the team.

    The Blugolds had an exhibition meet Friday allowing the team to run its routines for the public, but it was not judged.

    “Everyone was nervous at the exhibition meet, but it was to get the jitters out for the first meet,” freshman Lynn Morris said.

    The team officially began practice Oct. 16.

    “We have had less time this year, because there was one less week of practice. But the girls have been working hard,” Tobin said. “There has been strong leadership from the upperclassmen.”

    Harris agreed.

    “We have been working on routines for the past three to four weeks, and practices are looking good, and we are ready to compete,” Harris said.

    This year Eau Claire will host the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Nationals March 28 and 29. This guarantees the Blugolds a spot at the competition.

    “We want to win, and even though we have an automatic go to nationals, we want to earn our spot,” Harris said.

    Morris agreed.

    “We want to show everyone that we can earn our own spot.”

    This year the Blugolds will compete in many meets, including the Gershon Invitational and the UWEC Invitational.

    “Competition is strong all around, but our real challenge will be to stay focused,” Tobin said.

    Harris shared Morris’ thoughts.

    “Every team has new freshmen and La Crosse participated in nationals last year,” she said. “But we can do good if we perform our best.”

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    ‘Golds confident on season