Lindenwood loses NCAA gymnastics — Other gym news (+ schedule drops) — Thoughts from Auburn’s Aria Brusch
The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Lela Moore, Dec. 9, 2023
Lindenwood announced this week that it will discontinue women’s gymnastics (along with nine other athletic programs) after the 2024 season.
College Gym News gives some more info here.
The team, which has been around for a decade, won the USAG title last year, and have won their Midwest Independent Conference championship six times.
It always hurts when a school cuts sports teams for financial reasons; for gym fans, with our already limited number of teams, the loss feels even more intense.
Lindenwood has said that no amount of donations will force a change; that hasn’t stopped a few dubious fundraising sites from going live. If you are donating to help the team, make sure you know where your money is going. I’d love for this to be an Alaska situation, but it sounds like there are millions in the hole versus Alaska’s hundreds of thousands. I don’t think we’re getting a Cinderella story again, though I’d love to be proven wrong.
Gymnastics deserves the opportunity to start teams at smaller schools and in lower divisions and let them play out; unfortunately, despite the burgeoning popularity of the sport in the NCAA, it just isn’t always enough.
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Other gym news
Carly Dockendorf was named head coach at Utah and signed a four-year contract.
Gabby Douglas casually doing a leap series on beam.
Jessica Gadirova had ACL surgery, per her IG story.
Oksana Chusovitina posted a photo of herself wearing a vault necklace. We love to see it.
The Super 16 meet sessions are out.
Five at The IX: Aria Brusch
Speaking of Auburn…
Aria Brusch is a fifth-year on the Auburn squad, bringing back leadership, experience, and her beautiful bars (where she’s all-SEC twice over, NBD). She graduated from Auburn last year with a degree in psychology, and is currently pursuing her master’s in industrial and organizational psychology there. Brusch is originally from Ohio and trained club there. She was kind enough to answer our questions during the finals crunch!
Heading into season, what do you think Auburn’s strength is?
AB: I think Auburn’s biggest strength is all of the talent that is new to the team. From the freshmen to the transfer students, they have all been great additions and are going to make a big difference this year.
What is your master’s in, and why did you choose it?
AB: I am currently in my final semester as a graduate student in the industrial and organizational psychology program. I chose this major because I want to help companies figure out what their employees need, find the right personnel for their companies, and make work more enjoyable for everyone involved.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
AB: My favorite holiday tradition is that my family and I always get a real Christmas tree about five days before Christmas and then take it down the day after Christmas. We do this so my mom is not stuck with putting away all the Christmas decorations after my sister and I head back to college.
What is your favorite skill, on any apparatus, and why do you love it?
AB: My favorite skill is a shaposh because not only is it the most important skill in my bar routine and it is always fun to fly through the air.
If you could design a leotard that would be named after you (and that could be a practice leo or an Auburn competition leo, whatever you prefer!) – what would it look like?
AB: I think my ideal leotard design would be a high neck leo with bright colors and then black accents or diamonds flowing from the front to back and then a strappy design on the back as well.
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