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

    Eau Claire gymnasts come up short

    The UW-Eau Claire womens gymnastics team concluded their regular season Feb. 28 when they competed at Winona State University (Minn.). The Blugolds fell short to the Warriors with a final score of 185.300-181.600.

    Despite trailing Winona State overall, the Blugolds won the floor and all around competition. The team also had high finishes on the uneven bars and vault.

    Freshman Elizabeth Stubbs took first in the floor competition with a career best score of 9.725 points.

    “I had a great vault so I was pumped coming off of that,” Stubbs said. “I went out there and did what I usually do and ended up with a nice score.”

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    Senior Danielle Schulzentenberg’s score of 35.000 points won the all-around competition where she was the lone competitor. Shulzentenberg also took third place on the balance beam with a score of 9.150 points.

    “For me personally I started out really rough,” Shulzentenberg said. “I fell three times on bars but once that was over I had to get that out of my mind. I had more events to do and I just focused on hitting those events and it worked out.”

    On vault, senior Molly Senske took fourth scoring 9.225 points, and teammate Karla Hagen, a junior, finished in fifth place on the uneven bars with a career high score of 9.275 points. On the bars, Hagen was followed by junior Olivia Aschenbrenner in sixth place with 9.250 points and freshman Kellie Dougherty who took seventh with her 9.200 points.

    “Bars is probably my best event so that was my personal high point of the meet,” Dougherty said.

    Even with some standout individual performances the gymnasts knew this was going to be a challenge.

    “We knew it was going to be a good meet,” Shulzentenberg said. “Winona is known to be a good team. We were feeling pretty good going into the meet- we had a good week at practice.”

    Although this was the last meet for the Blugolds before moving on to regionals on March 9, it was the first time they faced Winona State this year.

    “It’s getting towards the end of the season and we hadn’t gone against Winona in conference yet so we were a little nervous,” Stubbs said. “We’d seen their scores from past meets and they’ve been doing pretty well.”

    Shulzentenberg said it was weird to not face Winona  State until this point in the season, but she was glad to see them before regionals. Though she felt there was a certain something the team was lacking that hurt them in their last regular season competition: team unity.

    “It felt like we were a bunch of individuals competing, so the big focus is to find that team unity again,” Shulzentenberg said.

    Dougherty said to have kept up with Winona  State the Blugolds would have needed to improve their performance on the balance beam.

    “We had a rough meet on beam that was our last event,” Dougherty said. “It was disappointing, definitely not our best performance. We should have kept up more with Winona. It should have been a closer meet.”

    Even though the Blugold gymnasts had a less than desirable finish to their regular season, Stubbs said they are ready to move into regionals and be competitive there.

    “I don’t think it was necessarily a good [meet] to end on­­ — it wasn’t our best but I think it will give us a lot of motivation to move into regionals,” Stubbs said. “I think we just need to maintain our focus and get a lot of energy in the gym and we’ll be ready to go.”

    Shulzentenberg said she’s confident if the team restores their unity they can excel in regionals and onto nationals.

    “We’re trying to cheer a lot more and be supportive of one another and what they’re doing,” Shulzentenberg said. “We do best when we have fun so we’re trying to find the fun in this sport as we head into regionals.”

    The WIAC Championship/NCGA Regional meet will start at 5:30 p.m. on March 9 at UW- Oshkosh.

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    Eau Claire gymnasts come up short