The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) will honor the 1975 Burnsville High School girls’ gymnastics team at the Class AA state gymnastics meet on Feb. 20, 2015. The meet will be held at 6 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion.
The 1974-75 Burnsville High School state champion gymnastics team was (back row) Coach Nancy Stewart, Lesley Pederson, Kathy Shogren, Maureen Potasek, Robin Pederson, Coach Peggy McDonald, (front) Sandi Adam, Cindy Ritchhart, Cheryl Nimsger, Connie Crowl, and Bonnie Berning.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the team's state championship, which it shared in a tie with Richfield High School. In addition, team member Bonnie Berning won all five individual events, giving her a combined six gold medals at that meet, which is still a state record. The 1974-75 school year was the first time that state tournaments were held for girls’ teams in Minnesota.
A reunion celebration along with Richfield’s team is planned.
Burnsville team members included Sandi Adam Koppen, Bonnie Berning Burak, Connie Crowl Erickson, Cheryl Nimsger Connelly, Lesley Pederson Ernst, Robin Pederson Ruegg, Maureen Potasek Simpson, Kathy Shogren, and Cindy Ritchhart Hoyer. Team manager was Linda Gaudette Sigel, head coach was Peggy McDonald and assistant coaches were Nancy Stewart and Jim McDonald.
Team member Robin Pederson Ruegg wrote a memoir of her experience and documenting what it was like for female athletes following the passage of Title IX. The book, "And the Home of the Braves," is available on Amazon. You can also download an excerpt.