Merila, Esteb Win Floor in Gymnastics Season Opener

Posted on February 26th, 2021 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus gymnastics team kicked off its abbreviated 2021 season Friday night at the Sponberg Gymnastics Studio and dropped a WIAC dual to UW-Stout by the score of 181.875-177.050.

“It was so amazing to be back out there competing again,” Head Coach Aryn DeGrood said. “I am very proud of the team, their resilience, their fight. The energy was so high today.”

The Gusties started the evening on vault and Abby Willis (Fy., San Bernadino, Calif.) recorded a 9.425 to take second place. Bars was the second rotation and Willis once again paced the squad with an 8.85 to finish third. In the third rotation, Kendra Smaby (Fy., Palo Alto, Calif.) recorded a 9.20 on the beam to place third. In the final rotation, Brooke Merila (Jr., St. Michael) and Emma Esteb (So., Woodbury) each notched a 9.325 to win the floor routine.

“Watching the first-years flourish at their first college meet was such a high for all of us,” DeGrood said. “They did so amazing adapting to changes and living in the moment. Abby had a wonderful night. She really was a light for the team tonight. Kendra put her heart out there tonight. She is one that is going to really grow from here.
“Emma and Brooke started the party on floor and even with stumbles they kept the momentum and energy. We had a lot of bobbles and stumbles and but we are happy with our starting point today. We cannot wait to see where this season takes us.”

As a team, the Gusties scored 46.175 on vault, 43.225 on bars, 43.100 on beam, and 44.550 on the floor.

Gustavus next competes on March 12 against Hamline for its final home meet of the season before hitting the road for the next two meets.


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