Hamline News

March 20, 2009

Pipers host first day of NCGA championship

UW-La Crosse defended their NCGA national championship, as they took over the lead from SUNY-Brockport on their final rotation in Saint Paul, Minnesota on Friday night. MIT senior Julia Zimmerman (Chicago, Ill.) closed out her collegiate career with her second all-around championship in three years.

The meet, the 25th anniversary of the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association championship, featured seven schools in the team competition and individual event specialists from eight additional institutions.

After three events, it came down to a battle between the Eagles, as the Brockport Golden Eagles held a .6 lead (139.900 to 139.300) over the La Crosse Eagles. La Crosse vaulted to the win with a 47.575-point performance on the vault compared to a 45.050-point tally for Brockport on bars.

La Crosse finished with 186.875 points and the championship. Brockport was in second with 184.950 while UW-Whitewater was third with 184.850 points. The host Hamline University Pipers finished seventh with 179.200 points.

Zimmerman, who won the NCGA all-around title in 2007, posted a total of  38.275 points (9.600 – vault, 9.450 – bars, 9.625 – beam, 9.600 – floor). UW-Stout’s Megan Hargens (Jr,. Rosemount, Minn.) finished second with 38.075 points and Kira Oldham-Curtis (Jr., Eugene, Ore.) of Ursinus College was third with 38.025 points.

Zimmerman is just the second woman in 25 years to win the NCGA all-around title twice.

The top 14 competitors on each event (including all ties) advance to tomorrow’s individual event finals, also to be held at Hamline University. The individual event finals will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.

Kristen Weniger (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) leads a pair of Pipers into Saturday’s competition. She scored a 9.700 on the vault, setting a new Hamline record, to finished second on that apparatus.

She also qualified for the event finals in the floor exercise with a 9.600, finishing in a tie for fourth tonight.

Weniger was 11th in the all-around, totaling 36.625 points. In addition to her scores on vault and floor exercise, she had a 9.100 on vault and 8.225 on balance beam.

Alisha Anderson (White Bear Lake, Minn.) finished 13th on the balance beam with a personal-best 9.450. Anderson finished 12th in the all-around with a personal-best 36.550 points. She had a 9.075 on vault, 9.150 on the bars and added an 8.875 on the floor exercise.