UWO Gymnastics become national champions for second consecutive year


Courtesy UWO Athletics

Nolan Swenson, Co-Sports Editor

UW Oshkosh Gymnastics took their second consecutive National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) championship at Winona University last Saturday.

The Titans scored 192.525 points for their sixth championship win and fourth NCGA title, as well as the university’s 49th time as a national champion.

The Titans scored 192.5 points at the meet, edging out UW-La Crosse by 0.2 points to secure their fourth NCGA national championship. The point total was UWO’s third highest in program history for a national meet.

This marks the first time in program history that the UWO gymnastics team won a back-to-back national title, and head coach Lauren Karnitz became the only coach in program history to win multiple NCGA championships.

UWO scored 48.050 in the vault, with Reanna McGibboney taking the high score for the team with 9.75.

McGibboney said that a contributing factor to the win was the team’s ability to block out the competition.

“I think that something that helped is that we stayed in our bubble,” she said. “We focused on what our team was doing and how we would overcome adversity, not on the other teams.”

A factor of the adversity was loss, which UWO suffered only once. McGibboney said that the loss to UW-La Crosse helped the team form a mindset of victory.

“The loss to La Crosse was good and it changed our mindsets,” she said. “We were so used to winning that when we came back it changed our mindset and made us want to win more. Not only did we win at nationals, we wanted to beat them again … After the loss we sat down with each other and changed our mindsets.”

In the bars, the Titans earned a cumulative score of 47.525. Rahdea Jarvis took the Oshkosh lead with a score of 9.575, only being bested by six other opponents.

The Titans scored 48.550 on the balance beam, clustering together in the 9.200-9.775 range. Lydia Hayden scored 9.775 taking All-America third team honors, she said that not only was the team internally supported throughout the endeavor, but external support helped.

“Interacting with our parents and fans keeps our energy up,” she said. “It’s amazing to have a support system and it helps us stay in the moment.”

Finally, in the floor event, UWO had a total of 48.400 points, closing out the championship for the Titans.

McGibboney tied for third place on the floor exercise with a score of 9.8 and the Titans earned four individual All-America honors.

Trinity Sawyer, Mia Lucero, Hayden and McGibboney earned All-America medals after placing first through eighth in the events. Additionally, Adana Amor, Haley Volstad and Kennedy Springer were named NCGA Academic All-Americans.

The Titans closed their season once again as national champions, suffering only a sole loss to UW-La Crosse on their path. The Titans will return next winter after two consecutive wins, with high expectations for the next season.

Hayden said that nationals was a team win, where everyone did their part in order to support the team.

“We were close as a team, it’s truly a family,” she said. “We want to push and uplift every one of us to do better. We have a lot of talent on our team, we don’t have just one individual. It’s everyone who comes and does their job day in and out.”

McGibboney said that the team isn’t getting ahead of themselves and will focus on building off of practical foundations.

“It would be amazing, but we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves,” she said. “We need to start preparing, but the way to get to another title is to get better one meet at a time, and in the off-season, one practice at a time.”

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include additional details.