Women’s gymnastics this year at Gustavus has been on a roll with new head coach and Gustavus alumni, Katie Olson, and the team’s new spirit throughout the season. Head Coach Katie Olson says this year has been going very well and feels proud of the team camaraderie that has been established. This year the women’s gymnastics team has won a complete gymnastics meet. Olson hopes that the women end this year with many fond memories from Gustavus. Olson feels confident about the team’s chemistry and the support the women have for one another. She sees this quality from the women on the sidelines as they cheer each other on.
“When somebody’s up, everyone else is behind them. That’s all I can ask for,” Olson said.
Olson believes that the bond within the team this year has caused higher-level scores compared to previous years. As far as the challenges Olson says the demand on the gymnasts’ bodies seem to be their obstacles with slight injuries during meets. However, there are three meets left of the regular season for the women and Olson wants the whole team to walk away with great memories.
“I want these women to leave here knowing that they were the best gymnasts that they could be,” Olson said.
Junior Jamie Ries was recently named WIAC (Wisoconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) “All-Around Gymnast Of The Week.” Ries has been a national competitor for two years running, and she hopes to return to Nationals again this year. She hopes to compete as an “All-Around Gymnast,” which she understands holds heavy competition. She is very excited about the team’s win in a gymnastics meet just a couple weeks ago as well.
“This year is a building year for us,” Ries said.
Ries feels the biggest goal for the team right now is simply performing to the best of their ability and hitting on all events. Many of the players seem to agree that the chemistry of the team is quite noticeable. Ries says this year she believes there is more energy and passion within her teammates on a higher level thanks to the new coaches and team.
“Through those doors, walk the most spirited gymnasts,” Ries said.
Ries also expressed the level of respect and appreciation she has for the new head coach. Ries believes this year there is a new found motivation and drive for the women in practices as well as in every meet.
Senior Samantha Opsahl hopes to end her last year by returning to Nationals as well. She feels every meet has been a great experience and is proud of her personal performance as well as her team’s. Opsahl has seen how each year is different than the last and says the improvements this year.
“We are really invested in each other this year. I haven’t really necessarily seen that in other years,” Opsahl said.
Opsahl enjoys Coach Olson’s leadership; she recognizes her positivity every day and thinks that Olson keeps things fresh. Olson pushes the women as well as talks and interacts with them on a healthy level—just what the team needs. Opsahl has seen in different ways how dedicated the coaches are to the team and believes that has boosted everyone’s attitude.
“It is encouraging to see the coaches are invested in us, and they have shown us we are worth it,” Opsahl said.