Searching for confidence and perfected routines

Despite recent losses, Blugold gymnasts see positive outlook for the rest of the season


Photo by Submitted

Story by Meghan Hosely, Online Editor

In their third meet of the season Friday night, the Blugold gymnastics team traveled to Winona State University (Minn.) for their third conference meet of the season. The Warriors squeaked by with a win, 182.875 to 181.925.

Prior to the loss Friday, the Blugolds faced multiple conference foes, such as UW-Oshkosh, UW-La Crosse and Gustavus (Minn.). During their meet with Oshkosh, the Titans also slid by with a narrow win, 183.375 to 182.500.

Head coach Jean De Lisle said while the close scoring isn’t exactly common, it’s also not unheard of.

“I wouldn’t say it happens a lot,” De Lisle said. “But it goes to show you that we’ve got some great competition and we’re … holding our own.”

Despite the positive viewpoint, De Lisle said there is a level of disappointment from the gymnasts, especially in themselves. The head coach said the women have worked hard in practice to compensate for the disappointments.

One area the team is working on is their beam routines, the head coach said.

“Beam has really been our weakness in both of our losses,” De Lisle said. “We’ve changed the way we’ve been working out on beam, trying to create different distractions.”

These distractions include generating a really loud atmosphere in the gym and creating many disturbances for the athletes.

Junior Liz Stubbs and freshman Tori Erickson both said distraction beams entails people sweeping under the beam and running under the beam among other “crazy things.”

Since both the student athletes perform in beam, they said facing these distractions has helped them stay concentrated and maintain focus.

On Saturday, the Blugolds travel to UW-Whitewater to compete against the Warhawks. Junior captain Kellie Dougherty said her and her teammates should progress this Saturday, despite facing the three-time national champion team.

“Whitewater is a good school, but we can’t control how they do,” Dougherty said. “We’re just going to do what we do, and we should keep improving.”

De Lisle said after the meet in Whitewater, her squad will have about half their season left before regionals. Going into the second half, the Blugolds will face teams from Hamline (Minn.), Gustavus and UW-Stout.

The head coach said she thinks the team will have faced their toughest competition after this coming meet in Whitewater.

“We go into a little bit easier second half of the season as far as competition,” she said. “I don’t want to make it sound like any meet will be easy … we’re all relatively level.”

De Lisle said she hopes the second half of the season will build her lineup’s skills and confidence as they get closer to the regional meet in mid March.