The balance beam is narrowing.
As the University of Alaska Anchorage gymnastics team prepares for their season, an ominous questions looms: Will this team be here this time next year?
Right now, no one knows the answer.
What is known is that budget cuts are coming throughout the university and the athletic department will not be spared. Along with hockey and skiing, it’s been proposed that gymnastics be considered for elimination.
It’s having a negative effect on the recruiting efforts of head coach Paul Stoklos, who is entering his 33rd year with the program.
“We’ve suspended all of our recruiting for next year, until we know what’s going on,” he said.
The UAA Seawolves have already lost one recruit.
It would be a huge loss for Kallie Randolph, too. The senior from Anchorage has been connected to the team and the sport for most of her life.
“It would be really tough — I grew up coming to the UAA gymnastics meets, and watching the girls compete. It would be tough to see that change,” she said. “Before I could walk, my parents actually had me doing gymnastics at home, both my parents were gymnasts, so as soon as I could walk and was potty trained, my parents sent me to the gym right away.”
She, Stoklos and the rest of the Seawolves will have to wait until early November for a decision about which programs stay and which will go.