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Gymnastics Opens Season Friday
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire women's gymnastics team will open the 2010 season Friday at 6 p.m., hosting the UW-Eau Claire Invite at the McPhee Physical Education Center.
Friday's invite will feature three teams, the Blugolds, Winona State University (Minn.) and Hamline University (Minn.). All three schools compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in gymnastics. Last season Winona took third at the conference championship while Hamline was seventh.
The Blugolds are coming off a tough season, when they were unable to pick up a win. The team finished in eighth place in the conference but with good experience returning, the Blugolds will look to improve this year.
Eau Claire returns 12 letterwinners, including junior Sarah Hulbert (Waukesha, Wis./North), who competed at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Championship. She finished 18th on the vault.
This year's squad is made up for four seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and six freshmen. The four seniors on this year's team are Samantha Howard (Sr.-St. Paul, Minn./Henry Sibley), Robin Knauf (Sr.-Rothschild, Wis./D.C. Everest), Katie Kooiker (Sr.-Grantsburg, Wis.) and Alicia Schaub (Sr.-Lakeland, Minn./Stillwater).
Following Friday's competition, the Blugolds will be back at home the next weekend to take on UW-Whitewater before taking to the road for five contests. Eau Claire will be back at McPhee on Feb. 26 to face UW-Oshkosh before post-season begins.