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

    High Expectations

    After qualifying for Nationals last season, the UW-Eau Claire Women’s Gymnastic team have set their goals a bit higher.

    Senior Danielle Schulzetenberg, an all-around competitor, said the Blugolds are going to make it to Nationals and compete to win.

    “Team goal is to make it to Nationals as a team and then don’t just stop,” Schulzetenberg said. “We want to go top four spots at Nationals.”

    Last season the women qualified for Nationals for the first time since Coach Jean DeLisle could remember. In the 2010-2011 season, the Blugolds hosted Nationals, giving them an
    automatic bid.

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    Coming off of last season, Schulzetenberg said the women are feeling more excitement than pressure. Eau Claire brought in five new freshman and DeLisle said with these new competitors, they should have a better team than last year.

    Freshman Kellie Dougherty is in her first year of university gymnastics. She said the energy level and dedication to the team is stronger at Eau Claire than during high school. University gymnastics is fun, Dougherty said, which is important to her as an athlete.

    “I want to have fun because I’m not a fan of competing very much,” Dougherty said. “I just want to go out there and hit my routines. I don’t have a goal of a set score because I don’t control those.”

    Even with all of the new talent on the team, the Blugolds are still having some struggles. The women have lost two athletes, senior RachelAnn Anderson and freshman Leah Robinette. to season-ending injuries already this season. DeLisle isn’t worried about it
    effecting the team’s success because the women are still very dedicated to the team and are always in the gym encouraging the team to do better.

    The first meet is on Jan. 5, but the women have recently have started perfecting their routines and working on the small things.

    “It’s one of those sports where you can’t really take time off because you lose that spatial awareness so easily and that muscle memory is so critical,” DeLisle said.

    The women’s gymnastics team is reflecting Eau Claire’s university motto: Excellence. Our measure, our motto, our goal.

    Eau Claire has heard talk that they are the team to beat this season but they aren’t letting themselves get too caught up in the excitement.

    “I try to keep myself in check and think to literally take it one day, one week at a time,” DeLisle said. “I try to not get caught up in the ‘this could be our season.’”

    DeLisle said it won’t be until the third or fourth week of competition until they know how the rest of the
    conference is.

    “We know we have to prove we are going to be the team to beat,” Schulzetenberg said. “We know that if we don’t put in the practice, we definitely aren’t going to be the team to beat.”

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