DENVER – Elders at the University of Denver Lynnzee brown (Kansas City, Missouri), Emily glynn (Longmont, Colorado) and Mia Sundstrom (Boulder, Colorado) will return for a fifth year of competition with DU Gymnastics, head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart announced Thursday.
The NCAA has granted current Division I student-athletes in fall and winter sports – including gymnastics – an additional year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the three seniors and captains of Denver for the 2021 season will take the opportunity.
âI am extremely excited that these three young women are returning to the University of Denver gymnastics program,â said Kutcher-Rinehart. âThey are excellent student-athletes who have demonstrated a work ethic, commitment and passion, and they continue to strive for a legacy of excellence. I’m proud of the way they’ve embraced our philosophy of character, teamwork and excellence, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with them for another year. “
Brown is one of the most decorated gymnasts in AU history, winning a share of the NCAA National Individual Floor Title in 2019 and 17 All-American honors combined. Upon returning from a season-ending Achilles injury in 2020, she was named 2021 Big 12 Co-Gymnast of the Year and won Big 12 Conference titles in all-around and bars. and on the ground. She was also named a finalist for two of the most prestigious awards in collegiate gymnastics: the AAI Award and the Honda Sport Award for Gymnastics.
In 2021, she set the AU record for the highest all-around score (39.825) and became the first in program history to score a perfect 10.0 in the playoffs – and a done three times: at Big 12 Championship bars and both bars. and the floor at the NCAA Regional Finals. She represented the AU at the NCAA National Championships and became the first gymnast in Denver to score at least 9,900 over three events in a single NCAA national meet.
âA teacher once told me to always choose the door that opens more doors,â Brown said. âThanks to the NCAA and the University of Denver for opening the door to more education and another visit with my team. I am thrilled with this unexpected opportunity to do what I love, with people that I love.”
Glynn has been a consistent three-event contender for Denver during her career so far. Twice, she landed on the All-Big 12 Championship squad for her top three spots at the Conference Championships in 2021 (jump) and 2018 (bars). In 2018, she was the co-finalist at the bars of the Minneapolis Regional, nearly winning an individual berth to the NCAA National Championships as a rookie.
Prior to an injury in the NCAA Regional Second Round, she competed in vault, bars and floor for the AU in all but one competition in 2021, setting or matching her career highs in every event along the way. – the three at 9.925 or more.
âThe past four years in Denver have been a dream come true,â said Glynn. âTo all of my teammates, coaches, friends, family and fans, I want to say thank you for being a part of this dream. The support and passion everyone has shown for Denver Gymnastics is truly unmatched. With all of that being said, I couldn’t fail to miss the opportunity to continue living my dream for one more year. “
Sundstrom has weathered multiple injuries during his career to contribute to all four events for the AU. As a rookie, she has made the all-round at every competition of the year and again in 10 meetings during the 2019 season. She has appeared in the vault, bars and beam rosters in all matches. except one in 2020 before an end-of-season injury in February. In her first three seasons, she scored career highs of at least 9,900 on all four events.
Despite injuries before and during the 2021 season, she stepped up when the team needed her, including a last-minute substitution in the bars roster at the Big 12 Championship – her first appearance in the event since her injury of 2020 and mathematically winning the team conference. Title. She also entered the jump and bars rosters in both NCAA regional meetings and tied for the team’s high vault score in the NCAA Regional Finals.
âBeing part of the Denver Gymnastics family has been a dream come true, and the past four years have come and gone,â said Sundstrom. âThrough the adversity of this year, my passion for the team and our goals has only grown stronger. I’m grateful and excited to have one last chance to play the sport I love, with the people I love, for the college I love – and to take care of some unfinished business. “
The three returning seniors were instrumental in Denver’s historic 2019 campaign in which the team advanced to the NCAA Championship Final for the very first time and finished fourth overall. They continued to develop their momentum in 2020 with several school records and the top five national rankings before the season was interrupted due to COVID-19.
In 2021, the trio led the AU through the challenges of competing during a pandemic. They contributed eight combined routines to help secure Denver’s first-ever Big 12 Championship and helped the AU finish in the national top 10 for the third year in a row.
During their first four years in Denver, each racked up career highs of at least 9,900 over three or four events and combined for 37 scores of 9,950 or more. They were also successful in the classroom, adding five Scholastic All-American honors and nine places on the All-Big 12 Academic Team.
Brown, Glynn, and Sundstrom will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in June before entering graduate school for the 2021-2022 academic year.
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