Gymnastics places fourth at nationals

Five Titans recieve All-American honors as UWO records a 189.400 point total to conclude its season in Kolf Sports Center on March 23


Photo Courtesy of Julie Hardy

Freshman Emily Gilot poses during her floor exercise which won her an All-American Honor.

The UW Oshkosh gymnastics team competed at the National Collegiate Gymnastic Association Championship on March 23, finishing fourth out of six teams with a score of 189.400.

Brockport State University (NY) took home first place, scoring 191.050 ahead of UW-Stout and UW-Whitewater, who scored 190.275 and 190.150 respectively.

Despite coming up short teamwise, the Titans earned several individual honors, including five athletes receiving All-American honors.

Freshman Emily Gilot bagged two All-American honors on the floor exercise and vault performances. Gilot scored a season high on the floor routine at 9.725, landing her a sixth place. On vault, Gilot finished tenth on the vault with a score of 9.650. The freshman also placed 16th on the uneven bars with a score of 9.425.

Gilot said her NCGA performance is something she will cherish forever.

“To earn two All-American honors my freshman year is such a cool experience I will never forget,” Gilot said. “Having the opportunity to compete for such an amazing and supportive team is one of the best experiences I have been given, and I am truly grateful.”

Four other Titans claimed All-American honors at the NCGA Championships: Junior Jessica Bernardo in the all-around competition, freshman Kaira Hammond and junior Baylee Tkaczuk on the uneven bars and freshman Rahdea Jarvis on the vault.

Bernardo took home third out of 10 total all-around participants with a score of 37.525. The junior placed 24th on the floor routine with a score of 9.525, 26th on the balance beam posting a 9.325 and 27th place on both the uneven bars and vault with scores of 9.475 and 9.200, respectively. Bernardo scored a season-best on the vault.

Hammond placed fifth on the uneven bars at 9.600. In addition, Hammond took 15th on the balance beam with a score of 9.550.

Two-time defending uneven bar champion Tkaczuk, posted a score of 9.625, earning herself a fourth-place finish. Tkaczuk also placed 18th on the balance beam with a score of 9.525.

Rounding out the Titans top 10 finishers, Jarvis took eighth on the vault landing a score of 9.650. Teammate Haley Minorposted 9.600, giving her 11th, place and Amira Ali took home a score of 9.475. All three vault, scores were season bests.

Notable UWO performances from the NCGA Championship included Olivia Keller’s 9.700, ninth-place performance for her floor exercise. Also on the floor exercise, Jarvis placed 18th with a score of 9.600 and senior Bailey Finin capped her career with a score of 9.550 to earn 21st place.

Jarvis said this team came a long way from the beginning of the season to be in position to compete for a national title.

“Looking back at the beginning of the season, we struggled and had a lot of unexpected curve balls that made making it to Nationals seem harder and harder,” Jarvis said, “by the middle of season, I think the road to home became clearer, but we still keep pushing ourselves. When regionals came, and we placed second as a team, I think everyone was overwhelmed with the emotions and the reality that we actually accomplished and exceeded our team goals.”

Jarvis said the team expects to be back at the NCGA championship next season if they keep up the hard work.

“I think we all would just like to keep doing what we know how to do,” Jarvis said. “From the start of season to the end and stay on the road to nationals in Ithaca next year.”

Despite not receiving all-american honors in gymnastics, Finin earned academic All-American honors for her excellence in the classroom.

Finin said she is happy to receive the award and recognized the sacrifices she and others had to make in order to compete in the sport she loves.

“Balancing gymnastics and nursing school has not been an easy road, but it has been extremely rewarding,” Finin said. “I have had to do a lot of adjusting to both my school and gymnastics schedules to be able to make it all work. Both my coaches and professors have been very supportive and understanding, which has helped me with my overall success.”

The NCGA recognized the top eight finishers in each event as All-Americans and named UWO’s head coach Lauren Karnitz and Ithaca College’s Rachel Lee as its 2019 Coach of the Year and 2019 Senior Athlete of the Year, respectively.

UWO gymnastics team will look to build on this year’s success next season.