A trio of Gustavus Adolphus gymnasts have earned the right to compete at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) National Championships being held March 23-24 in Brockport, New York. Sophomore Jamie Ries (Monticello, Minn.), junior Sam Opsahl (Forest Lake, Minn.), and junior Bailey Zeinert (Oshkosh, Wis.) will represent the Gustavus at this season’s national meet.
The College at Brockport has been selected as the host institution for the 2012 NCGA National Championship meet scheduled to take place in the Jim and John Vlogianitis Gymnasium in the Tuttle North athletic facility.
The two-day competition opens at 4:30 pm Friday with the team and All-Around competition as well as the qualifying competition for the individual championships in each of the four events. At 3:30 pm Saturday, the final competition for the individual titles in the Vault, Floor, Uneven Bars and Balance Beam.
Ries, Opsahl, and Zeinert will compete on Friday. All-American awards will be handed out to the top All-Around competitors Friday night as well as the crowning of the team championship title. On Saturday, All-American awards will be handed out to the top competitors for each individual event. All-Academic Awards are presented as well as the Gymnast and Coach of the Year awards on Saturday as well.
After a strong surge in the second half of the 2012 season, Jamie Ries has qualified for the NCGA National Championships in her second year donning the Three Crowns. Ries will participate in the vault and floor exercise competitions at the meet. A staple of Gustavus’ lineup in both events from the beginning of the season, the Monticello, Minn. native enters with season-high marks of 9.35 on the vault (2/3 at Gershon Invite & 2/25 vs. UW-Whitewater), and 9.375 on the floor (2/11 at Best of Minnesota). After recording sub-9.00 marks in her first five meets, Ries displayed steady improvement on the floor late in the season, scoring above a 9.200 in all of Gustavus’ last four competitions.
Sam Opsahl will also appear in multiple events this weekend, qualifying for the balance beam and floor competitions. Although her scores were inconsistent in both events at the beginning of the year, Opsahl has found her groove over the past month. The Forest Lake product enters the weekend with a pair of impressive season-highs under her belt. Opsahl recorded a season-best 9.550 on the balance beam and a 9.400 on the floor at the John Zuerlein Invitational held Jan. 27th. The junior has scored a 9.100 or better on the beam since her top mark, while going over a 9.000 on the floor the last three meets.
Junior Bailey Zeinert has been the a consistent foundation for Head Coach Glidden’s squad throughout the season. Zeinert has competed in the all-around in all nine of Gustavus’ competitions, totaling the most individual performances (36) on the team. At this weekend’s national meet, the Oshkosh, Minn. native will compete on the vault. Zeinert has scored above a 9.00 on the vault in six of Gustavus’ nine competitions. Her top marks came at the Gershon Invitational on Feb. 3rd and WIAC Championships/NCGA Regional on March 3rd. Zeinert scored a 9.225 at both meets.