The Gustavian Weekly

Gusties compete at WIAC Regional: Gymnastics posts team score of 175.925 | The Gustavian Weekly

By Eli Dotson - Staff Writer | March 13, 2020 | Sports & Fitness

In their past two weeks of action, the Gustavus gymnastics team hosted UW-Oshkosh on February 29 for a senior day celebration and then competed in the joint WIAC Championships/NCGA Regional Meet on March 7.
A tough opponent for the last dual meet of the season, UW-Oshkosh entered the competition first overall in the WIAC at 7-1 and defended their throne successfully, emerging with a score of 186.525 to the Gusties’ 178.850.
Gustavus tallied 46.550 on vault, 45.825 on floor, 44.050 on beam, and 42.525 on bars.
“It was a great day today celebrating our seniors,” Head Coach Aryn DeGrood said. “We had a big improvement on our team score from last week. Today was a team effort and that’s exactly what we want to see. The pieces of the puzzle are there and we look forward to seeing it all come together next week.”
First-year phenom Annie Corbett took first in the all-around event with a score of 37.600. She excelled on the bars and the beam, where a high-flying performance earned her first place in both events with scores of 9.425 and 9.625, respectively.
She rounded out her score with a 9.425 in the vault and 9.125 on the floor.
Senior Leah Heilig had a solid day in her last competition in her home arena, taking fourth on the floor with a 9.350 while scoring 9.325 on the vault.
First-year Emma Esteb also pitched in nice scores, taking fourth in the beam with a 9.275 and sixth on the floor with a 9.225.
The next weekend, Gustavus travelled to Eau Claire to compete in a meet that served as both the WIAC Championship and the NCGA Regional qualifying meet.
“Regionals is my favorite meet of the whole year as the structure is slightly different. We get to warmup and then compete on each event rather than warming up every event and then competing. For me, this allows me to take it one event at a time and ultimately put all of my energy into it! This meet is also what you train for in the offseason, a chance to go and leave it all out on the floor,” Sophomore Brooke Merila said.
This format served her well, as Merila lead the Gusties on the day with an eighth-place finish in the all-around with a 36.300.
Her score of 9.450 on the vault was good for 10th overall.
Sophomore Sophie Redding led the Black and Gold on the bars with a 13th place finish on a score of 9.375.
Annie Corbett led the Gusties on the beam with a 8.925, while her 9.425 on the floor exercise also led Gustavus.
Emma Esteb also posted solid scores on the floor and vault with marks of 9.400 and 9.250, respectively.
“I build off of the energy of my teammates and the crowd, which ultimately keeps everyone relaxed and enjoying the meet,” Merila said.
Overall, Gustavus took eighth place with a score of 175.925, while UW-Oshkosh won the meet with a score of 189.675.
The Gusties posted a 46.325 on vault, 45.200 on floor, a 43.350 on bars, but struggled on beam with a 41.050.
“As a team we’ve definitely had a lot of adversity thrown at us this year, but with that being said we know what we have to do moving forward,” Merila said while reflecting on the season. “We have a lot of unfinished business that is fueling our off-season training and leading us into next year.”
Based on her scoring at the Regional Meet, Corbett qualified for Nationals in the All-Around and will compete in Ithaca, New York on March 28.
Merila is also a potential qualifier in the All-Around event and will find out on Sunday if she moves on to the National meet.
With so many young athletes returning next season, the future is bright for Gustavus gymnastics.

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