Gymnasts defeat Warhawks

Alexis Durkee, Sports Writer

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The UW Oshkosh gymnastics team came out on top against the defending national champion Warhawks last Sunday in Whitewater.
UWO recorded their highest score of the season with a 189.485-189.150 victory.

Eight Titans scored in the top six performances and also owned the winner in three individual categories — balance beam, vault and all-around competition.

Freshman Kaira Hammond took first place on the balance beam with a score of 9.725.

Junior Baylee Tkaczuk finished second with a score of 9.70, and freshman Olivia Keller finished fourth with a score of 9.65.

Three Titan gymnasts owned their season best on the vault. Freshman Emily Gilot tied for first place with a score of 9.675. Freshman Rahdea Jarvis placed fourth, scoring 9.50, and sophomore Amira Ali placed sixth at 9.45.

Junior Jessica Bernardo said encouragement from teammates created a winning atmosphere.

“We created our own energy at the meet,” Bernardo said. “I think it really showed on floor because our entire team was pumped up and that helped the competitors.”

UWO possessed four top-six performers in the floor exercise, including Gilot and senior Bailey Finin who tied for second place with their season-best scores of 9.65. Ali finished fourth in the event with a season-high score of 9.575 and Jarvis sixth at 9.55.

Bernardo placed first in the all-around competition with a score of 37.25, and Gilot placed second, scoring 37.15. Bernardo said each and every meet allows the team grow and obtain more experience.

“After our competition in Seattle we were able to gain some confidence and momentum for our season,” Bernardo said. “At the meet there was a lot of energy, and I think our team really thrived with that environment.”

To keep the momentum moving, Ali said the team will continue to make practice positive and fun while working hard on the little things that need to be improved before they travel back to UW-Whitewater this weekend on March 2 to conclude the regular season.

“I’m happy we know the equipment already and as a team what we need to do to get an even higher team score than we did this past meet,” Ali said. “I’m feeling pretty good going into the next meet and am looking forward to competing with this team because all of the hard work we’ve been doing in the gym is finally starting to show.”