Gymnastics 2020 Season Preview

Posted on January 9th, 2020 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus gymnastics team kicks off its 2020 season at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Sponberg Gymnastics Studio, hosting Winona State University.

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This year’s squad features a lot of new faces, with many first-year Gusties replacing last year’s strong senior class. “When you lose so many contributors it can be a challenge to fill their spots, but we brought in a really strong recruiting class that’s going to help,” said Head Coach Aryn DeGrood. “They’re going to compete a lot and I think they’re going to surprise people.”

The seniors on this year’s team are Leah Dargis (Bloomington, Minn.), Grace Arnold (Huntsville, Ala.), and Leah Heilig (Forest Lake, Minn). Dargis and Heilig will compete in all events while Arnold will serve as a student coach.

Brooke Merila (St. Michael, Minn.) is the top returner for the Gusties, garnering All-American status in last year’s NCGA Championships thanks to a fourth place finish in the All-Around with a 37.350. Heilig is another top returning point-scorer for the Gusties, coming of a strong season where she averaged 9.308 on the floor routine, while sophomore Sophia Redding (Saint Paul) is the top returning Gustie on the bars and vault with averages of 9.345 and 9.128, respectively.

In 2020, Heilig will be the only returner on the floor as the Gusties graduated five of their six members from the event last season. On filling their roles coach DeGrood said, “Losing a handful of people from an event can make it tough to rebuild it, but we have talent there although we’re going to be very young. We even have sophomores and upperclassmen who will be competing in the event but they will be new to the lineup.”

Coach DeGrood believes the Gusties will be strong in all of their events due to the competitiveness of the incoming class. “[The first-years] are ready to go. Right now, in the first month, we don’t emphasize wins, losses, scores, or any of that. We are looking to see if we improved from last week and made proper adjustments. My goal is always to peek during the WIAC Championships.”

Last season the Gusties finished in sixth place at the WIAC/NCGA West Regional with a score of 184.725. Merila posted her best numbers of the season on the floor at last year’s event, with a score of 9.625.

Gustavus has three meets in its home studio this season, including Thursday’s meet and two more on Jan. 17 and Feb. 29.

2020 Roster

2020 Schedule

 

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