New Red Rocks will fill gaps left by graduating seniors

By By Paige Fieldsted

By Paige Fieldsted

As five seniors prepare for their last season at Utah, the program has signed six new gymnasts to fill their places on the roster in 2011.

The new signing class will account for almost half of the Red Rocks roster next year.
Lia Del Priore, Alyssa Gale, Hailee Hansen, Mary Beth Lofgren, Corrie Lothrop and Victoria Shanley will all be part of the Red Rocks beginning next fall. Among the six gymnasts joining the Utes are three junior Olympians, two local gymnasts and a U.S. Olympic team alternate.

“We are very excited about this group of athletes,” said co-head coach Greg Marsden. “It’s a great mix of experience and developing talent. In this class, we have both extremes and everything in between. Corrie Lothrop was an Olympic alternate and has competed for the USA internationally. On the other end of the spectrum, Hailee Hansen has had relatively little competitive experience but shows a great deal of potential.”

Lothrop comes to Utah as one of the top recruits in the nation and has been a member of the U.S. National team since 2006. She was an alternate for the 2008 Olympic team after placing ninth in qualifying round.

Hansen has trained for Illia Belov at USA Gymnastic and will begin her competitive career as a Ute.

Del Priore will come to Utah with a lot of competition experience under her belt. Del Priore placed fourth in the all-around at the 2009 Junior Olympic Championships, and was the 2009 Pennsylvania bar champion, as well as the vault, floor and all-around runner-up.
Gale is another recruit with lots of experience8212;she won three vault and two all-around titles in 20098212;and will be one of the top vaulters in the new Red Rocks lineup.
Lofgren is one of two local gymnasts and has been named all-around champion in Utah twice, in 2005 and 2007. She also placed 11th in all-around at the 2009 Junior Olympic Championships.

Shanley trains at the same club as former Utah NCAA all-around champion Theresa Kulikowski and has competed at the Junior Olympic championships for two years.
“Alyssa Gale, Victoria Shanley, Mary Beth Lofgren and Lia Del Priore have all produced great results but are continuing to improve and have not yet reached their full potential,” said co-head coach Megan Marsden. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to help them do that here at Utah.”

With so many seniors graduating, all six newcomers will have the chance to contribute from the beginning of the 2011 season.

[email protected]