EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire gymnastics team will open the 2012 season Sunday at the Central Michigan Quadrangular in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
This year's squad features 15 returning letterwinners while the Blugolds welcome five newcomers.
Last year the Blugolds finished in sixth place at nationals, a two-day event which they hosted in March. The last time Eau Claire appeared as a team at nationals was in 2006.
Three of this year's returners came away from nationals with All-American finishes.
Olivia Aschenbrenner (So.-Cedarburg, Wis./Grafton) earned first team All-American honors in the all-around and on the balance beam while taking second team honors on the uneven bars.
Danielle Schulzetenberg (Jr.-Maple Grove, Minn.) was a first team All-American in the all-around and vault while Rachel Behmer (Jr.-Maple Grove, Minn./West Lutheran) was an All-American on the uneven bars.
Aschenbrenner and Behmer both set individual school records a season ago. Behmer broke the previous record on the uneven bars while Aschenbrenner broke the record on the balance beam.
This year's team includes just one senior while there are seven sophomores and seven juniors, along with five freshmen. Head coach Jean DeLisle returns for her ninth year with the team.
After opening competition this weekend, the Blugolds will host the UW-Eau Claire Invite on Friday, January 13. They will be home again February 24 facing UW-Oshkosh and will host the WIAC Championship/NCGA West Regional March 3.