Ardy, Kopp Earn First Team All-America At NCGA Championship

Posted on April 1st, 2017 by


MENOMONIE, Wis. – Gustavus gymnastics had a spectacular showing at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Individual Championship Saturday as two Gusties earned First Team All-America status. Alex Kopp (Sr., Wayzata, Minn.) capped her impressive career with a second place finish on vault, scoring a career-high 9.700, while Sam Ardy (So., Thousand Oaks, Calif.) took fifth on the uneven parallel bars, tying a career-high 9.625. Kopp’s score is tied for the second best vault in Gustavus program history, while Ardy’s bars total is tied for the school record. The two All-America awards are the 97th and 98th in Gustavus program history.

“What a day, what a weekend!” Head Coach Aryn DeGrood said. “Both Alex and Sam had career-bests in their respective events to earn First Team All-American. It’s a huge accomplishment for both of them. Sam earning her first All-American is huge for her confidence and career going forward and for Alex you couldn’t ask for a better way to end your career.”

Ardy earns her first All-America certificate, while Kopp finishes her decorated career with her fifth All-America honor, which includes the 2016 national champion on the floor exercise. In just three seasons with the program, Kopp’s name is plastered all over the Gustavus gymnastics record books. She owns eight of the top 15 vault scores, three of the top 10 beam scores, two of the top 14 bars scores, four of the top 10 floor scores, and six of the top 10 all-around scores, including the program records on floor (9.850) and all-around (38.525).

“It was such a great weekend for our program,” DeGrood said. “All our competitors earned All-America. That’s big for them personally, but also for the program.”

Adding to Saturday’s accolades are the recipients of the 2017 NCGA All-America in Academics Awards. The award is presented to each gymnast who maintains a 3.0 overall grade point average (GPA) and whose name appears on the team’s NCGA squad list for the current year. Each nominee must qualify as a senior student academically and be in her last year of athletic eligibility. This season, all four Gustavus seniors earned the award – Kopp, Lauren Kershner (Marine, Ill.), Jaimie Niedermayer (New Prague, Minn.), and Jessica Niedermayer (New Prague, Minn.). Fourty-three student-athletes from 14 institutions received the award.

“All four seniors earning NCGA Academic All American was incredible,” DeGrood said. “Our athletes succeed in the classroom and in the gym and that is a testament to their work ethic and drive. I couldn’t be any prouder of those four young women.”


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