Karen (Kasey Carlstrom) Pierson: Hall of Fame Inductee
Karen Pierson came to Winona State University in 1978 and went on to become a key part of the foundation for a nationally recognized collegiate gymnastics program.
During her athletic career at WSU, the gymnastics team went to the national Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) finals four consecutive years. In the process, the Warriors placed 8th, 7th, 5th and 4th. She helped the Warrior teams reach those lofty collegiate heights with her all-around competition. Pierson was the AIAW regional all-around champion in 1980 and 1981 and earned All-American honorable mention honors on the uneven parallel bars.
While at Winona State, Pierson set the standard in several events for future Warrior gymnasts. She recorded an 8.9 on the vault in 1981 AIAW regional action. She had the top two floor exercise scores with an 8.85 in 1979 against Mankato State University and an 8.80 in a meet against St. Cloud State University in 1980.
Pierson probably did her best on the floor exercise, but the consistency in the all-around competition was what really helped her shine. She posted three of the top all-around scores in WSU history: 34.30 in 1980 regional AIAW competition, 33.95 at a University of Wisconsin invitational and 33.60 at an invitational meet at St. Catherine's.
Pierson has since gone back to coach gymnastics at her high school alma mater, Irondale High School in New Brighton, Minn.
AIAW regional all-around champion in 1980 and 1981
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Warrior Athletics, WSU Athletics, WSU Hall of Fame, Sports, Sport, Women's Gymnastics