MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota women's gymnastics program announced the signing of five student-athletes for the 2016-17 season. NLI's - Ivy Lu, Casey Betts and Ryan Stach and Acceptance of Admission athletes - Rebecca Taylor and Kristen Quaglia, who will all join the Maroon and Gold in the fall of 2016.
"We are thrilled about this group of young women set to join the Golden Gopher family next fall," said head coach Jenny Hansen. "They have a great passion and love for the sport as well our program and culture we are creating here at Minnesota. This class will step right in and continue to carry on the success of one of our most accomplished classes in school history in Madeline Hanley, Lindsay Mable and Hanna Nordquist."
Ivy Lu, Montreal, Que. native comes to Minnesota from training under Katerine Dussault, Pierre Prive and Francine Bouffard at Gymnix. Lu was the All-Around and Beam Champion at the 2015 Canadian Championships in the OPEN category. Lu was also a member of the 2012 Canadian Jr. Pan American Championship Team and from 2011-2013 was a member of the Canadian National Team. Daughter of Kathy and Chun Lu, she will be the only Canadian on the women's gymnastics team roster. Ivy is currently undecided with an intended major.
"We learned of Ivy very late in the recruiting process and are thrilled with her decision to attend the University of Minnesota," said Hansen. "She has a beautiful, international look to her gymnastics that will shine in the college arena. We expect her to make immediate contributions on bars, beam and floor for the program."
Casey Betts joins the Gophers from Chandler, Ariz., where she is a senior at Corona del Sol High School and competes under Amanda Borden, Kristin Fanning and Jay Soltis at Gold Medal Gymnastics. The three time Qualifier to the Junior Olympic National Championships finished first on vault, floor exercise and in the all- around at the 2015 Arizona State Championships and earned second bars and third on beam. At the 2015 Region I Championships, she finished third on floor, fourth on vault and seventh on bars and the all-around. Betts was named champion in the all-around, vault and floor exercise at the 2014 Arizona Grand Invitational where she also took home second on both bars and beam. Casey intends to focus her study on pharmaceuticals.
"Casey fell in love with the University of Minnesota as soon as she steeped on campus," said Hansen. "She got a late start to the sport but has tremendous potential. What she has been able to accomplish in her short career is amazing and we can't wait to see how she progresses at Minnesota."
Ryan Stach, Valley Cottage, N.Y. native hails from Galaxy Gymnastics Club where she is coached by Jamie Winkler, Sasha Miretski and Sergei and Galina Portruniak. Stach, who was able to compete for both her high school and at the Junior Olympic level was named the New York State High School Beam and Floor Champion in 2014 as well as champion nods on vault, bars, beam, floor and in the all-around in the New York Section 1 Championship. In 2015, she finished first in the Level 10 New York State meet on vault and second on floor. She claimed first on vault and floor in the regional meet and finished second on beam and is a three time Qualifier for the JO National Championships. Voted the MVP for her high school and earning All-Section honors, Stach swept the 2015 Balloon Classic finishing first on vault, bars, beam and floor. Ryan intends to major in Kinesiology.
"Ryan has a unique combination of grace and power and will continue the tradition of beautiful, artistic gymnastics at the University of Minnesota," said Hansen. "She is a wonderful fit with the culture of our program and we expect her to train and compete in the all-around."
Rebecca Taylor hails from Corcoran, Minn. where she is homeschooled and competes under Mike Hunger, Sami Wozney and Minnesota's own Rich Stenger. for the Twin City Twisters. The former teammate of current Gopher senior Hanna Nordquist, placed ninth on bars and fifth on floor at the 2015 Minnesota State Meet. In 2014, she nabbed fourth place both on bars and floor at state. At the 2015 Region 4 meet, Taylor finished fourth on the floor proceeding the year prior where she finished first on bars and third on floor. At the Junior Olympic meet, Taylor competed as a bar specialist, finishing seventh on bars. Rebecca intends to major in physiology.
"Becca is an exceptional student and shines on bars and floor exercise," said Hansen. "She immediately fit with the team and the goals of the program and will be another terrific addition."
Kristen Quaglia, Chanhassen, Minn. native, will join the Gophers form Classic Gymnastics where she is coached by Bryon Hough and Charise Schrupp. The senior at Minnetonka High School competes in the All-Around. At the 2015 Minnesota State meet, Quaglia finished second on vault and third on bars and the all-around. The two-time level 10 Junior National Qualifier was the Region 4 All-Around Champion in 2012 and 2013 and was the Bar Champion in 2015. Quaglia was voted Most Valuable Gymnast by her club and and was named a team captain for the 2015-16 season. Quaglia's mother, Melanie, competed as a Gopher varsity athlete on the track and field team from 1982 to 1984. Kristen's former teammates include Gopher alum Kayla Slechta (2011-14), Macy Narr of the Gopher track and field team and current Gopher gymnast Abby DeMuse. Kristen doesn't currently have an intended major however, she has been accepted into the College of Science and Engineering.
"Kristen is exceptional on both vault and bars but has really improved on all events the past few years," said Hansen. "We are excited as she has yet to reach her potential and she is very driven to succeed. She is also an incredible student and great role model at her club. We look forward to her leadership as the team looks to build on the success of the past."
"It will be wonderful to add two hometown athletes in Becca and Kristen. They have shown consistent success at the JO level and this will be wonderful experience for them to share their successes and have the support of their friends, family and clubs throughout their collegiate career."
By The Numbers: 2017
Take a look back at highlights from Minnesota Women's Gymnastics 2017 season by the numbers.
Incoming Gophers Win JO National Titles
Lexy Ramler (St. Michael, Minn.) and Ona Loper (Bluffton, S.C.) each won a national title at the 2017 Women's Junior Olympic National Championships.
Gophers Celebrate 2017 Season
Minnesota recognized team accomplishments and award winners at the annual banquet, celebrating the 2017 season.