Category Archives: Gymnastics

Denver spoiled by individual riches

Take in a University of Denver athletic event and you are likely to see some of the finest collegiate athletes in the country.

Exaggeration, you say? Hardly.

Denver fans love to boast about having the best teams in the land – but only one program can “win it all” in any given sport in any given year. An equally tough accomplishment is coaching and playing at a consistently high level. Continue reading Denver spoiled by individual riches

Puck Swami: Denver Pioneer History Being Made Before Our Very Eyes

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At this very moment on Feb. 20, 2017, for the first time in history, our two flagship sports, ice hockey and men’s lacrosse, are both ranked #1 in the country in all the major polls of those two sports.

For our small private school in the Rockies with 5,500 undergrads and a budget 1/10th the size of some of the large D-I football powers, with our opponents spread out all over the country and requiring jet planes to get to 85% of DU away games, this is an astonishing, epic achievement.

Additionally, our men’s soccer team finished #3 in the country this fall. And our women’s gymnastics team is currently ranked #8 in the country, the highest the program has ever been ranked.  And DU women’s lacrosse is undefeated this year and ranked #14/15 in the country. And our nationally ranked swim teams (#20 men’s and #26 women’s) just swept the podium in EVERY EVENT at the Summit League Championships last week.

I say all this because we need to take a moment to realize just how frickin’ good our athletics program is right now.  No program in the country gets better performance for the buck than DU does.  And now is the time to tell your friends from bigger schools that the Pioneers are on top of the country in two sports.  Let’s hope both can end their seasons with a National Championship.

For those of us oldsters who remember the days when DU played hockey in a decrepit old WWII surplus naval drill hall and DU lacrosse played mostly clubs and small colleges on muddy fields in front of 50 people, we can only say how proud we are to see just how far DU has come as a national sports power.

Go Pios!

 

 

Leftovers & Loose Ends: Denver Holiday Break Update

  • How do you replace gymnast superstar Nina McGee? Just sign-up one of the best Freshman in the country. DU’s  Maddie Karr posted the highest score at the Crimson & Gold meet in three events – 9.850 on vault, a 9.900 on the floor and a 9.950 on the beam.

Continue reading Leftovers & Loose Ends: Denver Holiday Break Update

Puck Swami: Is the men’s soccer team making the 2016 College Cup DU’s greatest sporting achievement?

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When Denver centerback  Kortne Ford (above/Photo by David Grooms) carved open the Clemson backline to convert Alex Underwood’s cross to score the game-winning goal in Dec.2’s NCAA Soccer Quarterfinal with a minute left in the game to book a first-ever DU berth in the College Cup, it set off a big celebration for every Pioneer fan.

I would argue that it may have been one of DU’s greatest collegiate sporting achievements of all time.  Here’s why: Continue reading Puck Swami: Is the men’s soccer team making the 2016 College Cup DU’s greatest sporting achievement?

Three Pioneer Alums Headed to 2016 Rio Olympics

Three DU 2016 Olympians: Left: Jessica Lopez ’09 Gymnastics, Venezuela, Top Right Espen Kofstad ’11 Golf, Norway; Lower Right: Simona Castro ’13 Gymnastics, Chile.  Photos Courtesy University of Denver

Three University of Denver athlete graduates  will represent their respective countries at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil — one men’s golfer and two women’s gymnasts, representing the countries of Norway, Venezuela, and Chile, respectively. Continue reading Three Pioneer Alums Headed to 2016 Rio Olympics

Nina McGee Takes Texas, Title & Makes History

Photo: From the top of the podium, Gymnast Nina McGee captures the moment.

Gymnast Nina McGee achieved a DU first when she became an NCAA champion on floor. While competing in the NCAA Championship all-around, she captured the top score on her bread and butter floor exercise and captured Denver’s first ever gymnastics title. Competing as an individual entrant, she took on gymnasts from the nation’s best programs such as  Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, and UCLA and earned the top step to a standing ovation from the crowd in Fort Worth, Texas.

From all accounts she became a clear crowd favorite as she worked through the all-around rotations culminating in her remarkable floor routine.

Her back story includes a 5-year battle overcoming serious injuries through raw determination and her eventual climb to the top of collegiate gymnastics. The All-American gymnast must now be considered among DU’s greatest individual athletes ever. Continue reading Nina McGee Takes Texas, Title & Makes History

Gymnast Nina McGee Goes for Texas-Sized Achievement

Denver’s toughest athlete is set to compete against the nation’s best.

DU gymnast Nina McGee will be heading to Fort Worth later this week to compete in the women’s NCAA Gymnastics championships as an individual qualifier. Unlike many other competitions, McGee will be traveling to the event without any of her teammates. She will be a contender for the national all-around championship after finishing 11th overall last year. The championships will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena, April 15-16. Continue reading Gymnast Nina McGee Goes for Texas-Sized Achievement

DU’s Toughest Athlete, Nina McGee Might be the Best Ever

Photo: DenverPioneers.com

DU athletic teams are loaded with great athletes in their respective sports. But the toughest athlete at DU is senior gymnast Nina McGee. As the Denver Post reported a year ago, McGee performs with two rods that run from from her knees to her ankles. Her severe shin splints were caused by stress fractures of the tibia in both legs. That put her athletic career in jeopardy. After consultation with medical experts and coaches, the decision was made to insert metal rods to support the tibia in both legs from the knees to the ankles. Continue reading DU’s Toughest Athlete, Nina McGee Might be the Best Ever