The Gustavus women’s gymnastics team will open its 2005 season in style with a meet in Cancun, Mexico on Friday evening (Jan. 7). The Gusties will compete against three Division I teams including the University of Oklahoma, Brigham Young University and George Washington University. The meet will be held at the Hilton Golf and Beach Resort.
The Gusties return 12 letterwinners from a team that finished fifth at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association”s Division III Championships. Coach Kris Glidden’s squad will be led by senior All-American Amanda Parker and junior All-American Ashley Erickson. Parker has finished in the top six in the all-around at the NCGA Championships for three consecutive years including winning the national all-around title in 2002. Parker, who spent the fall semester studying in Spain, had knee surgery in the off-season and will likely not compete in the all-around this season. She will likely compete on the beam, uneven bars and floor exercise. Erickson finished off a strong sophomore season by finishing third on the uneven bars at the NCGA Championships. She set the school record with a score 9.75 on the bars at the national meet.
Other top returners for the Gusties include Danielle Able on the vault, Katie Balcom on the beam, Alyssa Cox on the vault and bars, Nicole Gergen on the beam and floor, Sarah Greninger on the bars, Stephanie Lovik on the floor, Brittany Moore on the vault, Kathleen Ozbun on the beam, Shannon Bank on the floor and Therese Gay on the bars and floor.
Coach Kris Glidden has beefed up the schedule in 2005 as the Gusties will compete against five Division I programs including Oklahoma, Brigham Young, George Washington, Iowa State and the University of Minnesota. In addition, the Gusties have become a member of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Three schools from Minnesota – Gustavus, Hamline and Winona State will join with UW-La Crosse, UW-Whitewater, UW-Stout, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Oshkosh in the WIAC. All eight teams will compete for the conference title on March 4 at UW-Stout . Gustavus has competed as an independent in Division III gymnastics for the past 35 years.