The Gustavus Adolphus women’s gymnastics team will travel to Boston, Massachusetts to compete in the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) National Championship this weekend. The national championship will be hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The team and all-around competition will take place on Friday, April 2 and the individual competition will take place on Saturday, April 3.
The Gusties qualified for the national meet by placing second in the NCGA West Regional with a score of 182.500. Head Coach Kris Glidden was pleased with her team’s effort at the regional. “I was extremely happy with the overall performance of the team. We had a very strong showing on the floor and vault.”
The Gusties will make their seventh consecutive appearance in the national competition. Gustavus placed fourth in 2003, its third straight top five finish.
It is a difficult year to predict what program will be crowned national champions. Coach Glidden feels that Brockport, Cortland, Ithaca, UW-La Crosse and Gustavus all have a shot at the championship. Glidden commented, “It will come down to who can stick the most routines. If we put in solid performances in five of the six routines, we will be in a great situation to finish on top.”
Gustavus will be fueled by 2003 All-Americans Alyssa Cox (Sophomore, Big Lake, MN) and Amanda Parker (Junior, Ames, IA). Cox scored a 9.500 on the vault to win the regional title and is on track to defend her 2003 NCGA individual title. Parker has been ranked nationally all season in the all-around. She placed third in the West Regional all-around and looks to improve on her sixth place finish in the 2003 national competition.
Glidden listed several other Gusties that she anticipates as playing a key role in the title race. They are Molly McIntyre (Senior, Minneapolis, MN) on the uneven bars and beam, Ashley Erickson (Lakeland, MN) on the vault and uneven bars and Ali Legler (Senior, Rockville, MD) and Therese Gay (Junior, Sugar Grove, IL) in the floor exercise.
The Gusties go into the national meet with high hopes. This year’s field is extremely level and each program has the chance to tip the scales in its favor.