Junior Simona Castro
Courtesy: Justin Edmonds
Junior Simona Castro
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Castro Qualifies for 2012 Olympic Games
Courtesy: Denver Athletics  
Release: 01/12/2012

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LONDON - University of Denver junior gymnast Simona Castro (Santiago, Chile) made history on her 23rd birthday, becoming the first Chilean woman to qualify for a gymnastics spot in the Olympic Games on Wednesday. The 2012 games will take place this summer in London, England.

The Pioneer junior finished 55th in the All-Around, posting a 13.600 on Vault, an 11.466 on Bars, a 12.566 on Beam and a 12.700 on Floor, for a score of 50.332, to put her into the XXX Olympiad.

"We are thrilled that Simona has earned the privilege of representing her country, her family and the University of Denver," said head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart. "She is getting the ability to fulfill a lifelong dream."

2009 DU alum, and Venezuela native, Jessica Lopez also qualified for the All-Around competition this summer, placing 22nd in the event. Lopez also qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Lopez and Castro are the only two Olympic gymnasts in DU history.

Italy's Vanessa Ferrari posted the top score, finishing the event with a 56.532.

Castro is on her way back across the Atlantic to rejoin the Pioneers in Lincoln, Neb., for tomorrow's meet against the Cornhuskers.  The meet is set for 6 p.m. MT. 

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