Gymnastics shine at Nationals Competition

Allison Mueller

Mackenzie Kush/ Winonan

The Winona State University gymnastics team put on a huge performance at the NCGA Championships in La Crosse, Wis. on March 27 and 28.

Freshman Kathryn Pipp broke Winona State’s all-time uneven bars record scoring 9.700. The score broke her previous record of 9.675 achieved on Jan. 10 against Alaska-Anchorage. She finished 11th in the event and earned second-team on the NCGA’s All-America list.

Pipp said, “Since I first broke the individual bar record in the first week of the season, I had been trying so hard to do it again so it was really rewarding to get it again at the most important meet of the season.”

Pipp said she is looking forward to working on all of her routines next year as well as experimenting new skills during the off season.

Day one saw junior Jade Donaldson finishing 11th in the All-Around competition with a score of 37.050.

Donaldson finished 23rd on the vault with a score of 9.525, marking her best outing of the night.

She also scored 9.500 in the floor exercise, finishing 22nd in the event.

Donaldson rounded out the night with a 9.225 on the beam, placing 30th, and an 8.800 on the uneven parallel bars for the 34th place finish.

The junior then joined teammates Emily Goldeman and Pipp the next day for the NCGA Individual Championships, with Goldeman competing in the vault and Pipp taking on the uneven bars.

Donaldson was solid in the floor exercise, grabbing a fifth-place finish with a score of 9.700. Donaldson’s floor performance earned a spot on the NCGA All-American First Team.

Both Donaldson and her junior teammate Goldeman tied for ninth-place finishes on the vault, scoring 9.625 apiece. Goldeman’s efforts were good enough for a personal-best as the duo netted all-NCGA Second Team spots.

Donaldson finished with a trio of NCGA All-America awards, including a first team selection in floor as well as second team spots in the vault and all-around.

“The three of us that made it to Nationals did extremely well. We each accomplished our goals that we set when we went to Nationals, which was to go out on the floor, have fun, and represent our team the best we could and come back with All-American honors,” Donaldson said.

She continued, “I felt like we were training really good all the way up until the National meet, so we could go out there and do what we do best on the events that we were competing.”

Overall, Winona State capped its 2015 campaign with five total NCGA All-American awards.

“Even though we missed making nationals as a team by less than two tenths of a point, I think that we still have so many accomplishments to be proud of this season,” Pipp said.

Donaldson said, “Overall I think our team had a really great season, we broke so many records this year. You can tell that our team is strong.”

According to Donaldson next year will be the best year for the girls.

“This team is really great and we still have so much to offer, we are still growing and going strong,” Donaldson said.

Pipp added, “We already have girls getting better and better so I think next season we will blow everyone away with our amazing ability. I am so proud of how well this team stayed together and really supported each other every meet when we had every reason to give up and sit in our own passion.”

Pipp said the team’s passion and dedication helped honor Brooke Baures and what she stood for as a gymnast.

“We competed to make her proud and really dedicated this season to her. We knew she was watching over us and giving us confidence to be our best like she did every day at practice,” Pipp said.