Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Gymnastics heads to nationals

The mentality behind a winning program
Morgan Feltz / Advance-Titan The UW Oshkosh gymnastics team celebrates during their Black and Gold intrasquad meet on Dec. 7. The team will compete at the NCGA championship on March 23.

The UW Oshkosh gymnastics team will head to the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association championship after winning the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title for the fourth consecutive season.

The Titans will also be seeking their third consecutive national title, the NCGA did not host a championship in 2021 when UWO won the WIAC that season.

Sophomore Reanna McGibboney is in her second year with the program and has competed in each meet of her first two seasons and is already a two-time WIAC champion, looking to become a two-time national champion. 

McGibboney knew the level of excellence to expect from the program and was ready to put in the work to carry over success from season to season. 

“I was aware that [winning the WIAC] was a goal we wanted to achieve again,” McGibboney said. “I enjoy being part of a team that sets goals and creates their own success.” 

Junior Delaney Cienkus has also competed in all meets of her UWO career and is looking to become a three-time national champion on top of her third WIAC title.

Cienkus is proud of what the team has accomplished so far but believes there is still unfinished business.

“It is amazing to be a part of a legacy in this program and there I am hopeful that future teams will be able to carry on the legacy,” Cienkus said. “To win three conference championships to me means that we have to work harder next year if we want to do it again because other teams are going to want to beat us even more now.”

McGibboney said the team has built a mindset of taking it one day at a time that seems to resonate when things get tough for the team.

“We don’t like to get ahead of ourselves because we can’t control the future until we get there, and we don’t dwell on the past because there is nothing we can change about it,” McGibboney said. “We just like to focus on the moment and being where our feet are,” 

“This helps us stay grounded and focused in each practice to continue to take steps forward and enhance our skills each competition.” she said.

“We don’t go into meets wanting to win or beat certain teams, we go into meets with the mindset of doing the best that we can do that day and bringing as much energy we can into the meet that day,” Cienkus said. “If we go in and do the best we could do that day the result doesn’t matter.”

McGibboney said that the team also has a mantra of “ubuntu,” an ancient African word she said means “I am because we are.” using an example of holding a rope.

“The story behind this explains if you were to be hanging at the edge of a cliff and the only thing between you and a fall to your death is whoever is at the end of the rope,” McGibboney said. “Who do you trust on your team to hold onto that rope and let their hands bleed before they stop fighting to lift you up. The team that can hold onto the rope and keep fighting even when it gets tough are the winners at the end of the day.”

When the Titans compete at the NCGA championship in Collegeville, Pennsylvania on March 23 they will be thanking their work ethic and teamwork for why they are there.

“For our team, it is never just about winning. While winning is always a plus, it is about being the hardest working and being our best that day,” Cienkus said.

“Everyone that is a part of our team can do what they are able to because we do things as a team,” McGibboney said. “We believe that each person plays a key role in our team’s success, and that is why we can do what we do.”

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