Young star leads gymnasts

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Young star leads gymnasts

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April 8, 2015 By Connor Moore

Two-time National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Division III all-around national champion, two-time Co-NCGA West Region Gymnast of the Year, two-time NCAA Regional qualifier, four career individual national titles, an abundance of WIAC honors and several places in the UW-Whitewater record books.

With all those accomplishments and more, Katie Fiorilli has arguably established herself as one of the most accomplished gymnasts on UW-Whitewater gymnastics head coach Jennifer Regan’s team.

And she’s only a sophomore.

“She is just a great athlete,” Regan said. “She’s very hard-working. You ask her to do something, she does it. Very respectful. The respect that she has for her coaches and the rest of her teammates is great.”

For Fiorilli, the team aspect of things have always been the most important to her.

A mentality like that
definitely shows throughout the team, as teammate and sophomore Courtney Pickett, who said, “She’s very hard-working, passionate, and always there for you. She’s a great friend and always has my back”

While helping the gymnastics team is something Fiorilli is passionate about, winning also drives her.

“We’re all here to win, we’re all here to make a name for the school,” Fiorilli said. “That’s the goal every single day we come in.”

For Regan, she knew Fiorilli was something special from the first day she and sister visited UW-Whitewater years ago.

“She comes from a great family,” Regan said. “We recruited her sister a couple years ago, but she went to Brockport. They would fit in so well with our team because they are just a really nice, down to earth family. I was keeping my fingers crossed the whole time that Katie would come to Whitewater.”

So why did Fiorilli choose Whitewater for her college gymnastics career? The decision for her was easy.

“I wanted to feel wanted on a team, and when I came here for a visit that’s exactly how I felt,” Fiorilli said. “I could just feel the energy that they all (the coaching staff) had in the gym, as well with the other girls on the team. I just felt like it was a big family, and I didn’t feel that going to other schools.”

Despite all her accomplishments, Fiorilli still remains focused on working hard, taking each practice and each meet as a new day.

Regan added her thoughts on how Fiorilli has handled all of her accomplishments so far in her young collegiate career, saying that she never talks about herself and always speaks highly as a team in a whole.

It’s that mentality that leads to Fiorilli’s importance to the team, as Regan added, “She’s a team player, that’s the big thing. I remember our third meet of the season her freshman year, she gave up her spot on bars for somebody else. We had talked to, and she was like, ‘Nope, give it to her.’ To me, that spoke volumes. She’s all about the team.”

Even though Fiorilli doesn’t speak much at all about her accomplishments, she wasn’t shy about admitting she wants to add on a couple national championships as a team.

“I want people to remember my passion for Whitewater as a whole and my passion for the sport,” Fiorilli said.

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