The UW Oshkosh gymnastics team participated in the George Washington University Pink Meet in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 4. The Titans won first place on the uneven parallel bars, but placed fourth in the meet with 190.975 points.
UWO is currently 1-3 on the season, along with the fourth-place finish at George Washington. The Titans beat Hamline University on Jan. 6, but lost their next three meets against UW-Stout, Winona State University and UW-La Crosse.
The Titans are always looking to improve at each meet, and during every practice. All-around senior Amanda McBrayer said the team’s mindset remains focused on the positives even with the outcomes.
“We have a lot of potential as a team, and I am excited to see what we can do once we have everyone healthy,” McBrayer said. “With that being said, we just go into the gym every day with the mindset of ‘what can we do to make ourselves better?’”
All-around sophomore Baylee Tkaczuk, was injured earlier in the season but was able to return for the Jan. 19 meet against Winona State University.
The following week, on Jan 27 against UW-La Crosse, Tkaczuk won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Gymnast of the Week award with season bests for the balance beam (9.475), uneven bars (9.55) and vault (9.325).
Tkaczuk said that while her overall performance was very important for the team against UW-La Crosse, she was very happy she could come back from injury and perform as well as she did.
“My favorite personal best of that night for this season was probably from my bar routine,” Tkaczuk said. “I’ve been out for some time, so I’ve been limited on practicing and I barely practiced bars leading up to the meet.”
The Titans have been on the cusp of victory in every meet, as UWO’s average margin of defeat is 4.094 points.
Oshkosh has not been complacent this year. Head coach Lauren Karnitz said the team remained consistent through the season, which especially helps the team moving forward.
“We’ve been dealing with a lot of injuries and just having [the team] keep the faith and get better,” Karnitz said. “At this last meet we hit our events and did well, and I think it proves to them how good they are when people are healthy.”
While at GWU, the Titans set a season best score of 190.975. UWO’s next opponent on Feb. 10 is Gustavus Adolphus College.
The Golden Gusties have a season-high score of 179.875, set on Friday, Feb. 2 at the UW-La Crosse Triangular. Due to a short turnaround from their trip to Washington, Karnitz is hoping for a lower stress meet.
“The good thing is that I think, looking at the rankings, going up against Gustavus the stress level will be a little lower just because they haven’t hit the scores that we have hit this year.” Karnitz said. “I think [Oshkosh] will feel like it’s more of a competition with themselves than with the opposing team. So I think that will take down the nerves a little bit and help us turn around this week.”
The Titans will then return home to face UW-Whitewater on Feb. 16.