National Championship bound


Julie Hardy

Sophomore Amaira Ali poses during her floor performance at the WIAC Championship tournament at UW-Stout. UW Oshkosh placed second overall.

Evan Moris, Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh gymnastics team was runner-up at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference/National Collegiate Gymnastics Association at UW-Stout last weekend.

The Titans posted a 188.950, only trailing host UW-Stout, who won the meet with a 190.225. The Blue Devils posted the highest score in each of the four events.

UWO posted scores of 46.800 on the vault, 46.875 on the uneven bars, 46.950 on the balance beam and 48.325 on floor exercise. The Titans finished second among the eight teams on the uneven bars, the balance beam, floor exercise and third on the vault.

The Titans had seven gymnasts earn All-WIAC performances. Freshmen Kiara Hammond and Rahdea Jarvis were runner-ups in the balance beam and uneven bars. Hammond posted a score of 9.725 on the balance beam while Jarvis got a 9.550 on the uneven bars.

Junior Jessica Bernardo captured a third place spot on her floor exercise with a 9.750, setting a personal best, and took fifth in the all-around competition.

Bernardo said she was beyond pleased with her performance at the WIAC Championship.

“Coming into the meet I did not expect to get third place on floor,” Bernardo said. “I knew it was a possibility but I always just expect to do the best I can on that day. I was very happy with my final score; it was an all-time high score for me on floor.”

Junior Baylee Tkaczuk took fifth on the balance beam with a score of 9.625 as freshman Emily Gilot finished sixth on the vault with a 9.425.

The Titans had three other additional top-ten performances. Jarvis took eighth-place on vault with a score of 9.400, freshman Olivia Keller also had an eighth-place finish on floor exercise of with a 9.725 and Tkaczuk captured a ninth-place score of 9.450 on the uneven bars.

Bernardo said the team came together as one last weekend, and it showed in their performances.

“As a team we felt unified,” Bernardo said. “If a mistake was made, the rest of the line up had that person’s back and picked the momentum up after. Knowing that we were close to placing first motivates us to work that much harder these next two weeks, but we are all very excited that we qualified as a team.”

The gymnastics team earned an automatic bid to the NCGA Championship by placing in the top three and will host the NCGA Championships on March 23 at the Kolf Sports Center on the UWO campus.

Titan freshmen Gilot said there’s only one thing left to accomplish this season.

“The final goal this season is to win a national championship title as a team at home in front of alumni, family, friends and fellow Titans.”