By Hannah Lee ’17
Just approved this year, Merrimack has added club gymnastics to its club sports roster. This team will start practices in just a few weeks.
With 14 females and one male on the team, this first year gymnastics team is expected to take off next week. Students come from all classes and skill levels.
The team will practice down the road from Merrimack at Yellow Jackets Gymnastics in Middleton and will be a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics, competing in levels 8 and 9. The athletes will compete in two main competitions, one at The University of New England and the other at MIT.
Sophomore Amber Gustafson who is also a member of Merrimack’s women’s soccer team, started the club. She works at Yellow Jackets and started to miss the sport, prompting her to bring it to campus.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the club grow. I hope we are able to build a strong foundation this year and are able to go compete at Nationals next year,” said Gustafson.
Gymnastics has become more and more popular over the last decade. The London 2012 Summer Olympics and the Rio 2016 Olympics have contributed to this popularity as gymnasts like Aly Raisman and Simone Biles have become household names after earning gold medals at the games.
Jenna Ketterer is a junior on the team who has been participating in gymnastics for 14 years prior to coming to Merrimack. “I’m most excited to meet new people through the gymnastics team and compete again!”