St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus gymnastics team is set to kick off its 2012-13 season with the Gustie Triangular against Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) opponents UW-Whitewater and UW-Stout in the Gymnastics Studio located in Lund Center at 12:30 on Saturday, January 12th.
The meet not only starts off the new season, but also marks a new era for Gustavus gymnastics as the program’s fourth head coach Katie Olson ’00 takes the reigns in what will be her collegiate coaching debut. Coach Olson graduated from Gustavus in 2000 with a major in elementary education and later earned her master’s degree in education from Saint Mary’s University. As a former Gustie gymnast, Katie Olson earned seven All-American Honors from 1996-2000 and was named the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Gymnast of the Year. Her skill in gymnastics is matched by her experience in coaching with nine years of instructing under her belt.
With only three newcomers to the team, Gustavus brings a great deal of experience to the lineup. With five seniors, five juniors, and five sophomores, the team aims for an improved showing in the WIAC this year. “We have five seniors who bring different strengths to the team, not just with the events they do, but also with their personalities and leadership styles. They have really taken the underclassmen under their wings,” said Coach Olson. Overall, the team is well-balanced with 10 all-around competitors and four gymnasts each competing in uneven bars, balance beam, and floor. Coach Olson stated that she is pleased the progress the team is making, adding, “I think we are where we need to be so far.”
The home meet is the first of eight regular season meets before the team heads to the WIAC Championships in Oshkosh, Wis. This year the Gustavus team will host three home meets including the Gustie Triangular. At 7:00 p.m. on February 8th, the Gusties host Hamline University, and on March 2nd at 2:00 p.m., they welcome UW-La Crosse for a dual. All three home meets this season will take place in Gymnastics Studio in Lund Center.