Second place satisfying for gymnasts

At the start of the season, the gymnastics team’s goal was to finally win a national championship. Somehow, that goal fell short.

Although they headed to Eau Claire with hopes of a first place finish, they still left with their heads held high.

In their fourth straight year competing in the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association championships, the Warhawks finished a school-best second place last weekend, scoring a 187.55 to finish behind UW-La Crosse, who scored a 191.175.

The Eagles’ first place finish gave them their fourth consecutive national title, and their 10th in the last 11 years.

“Second place is the best that UW-Whitewater has ever finished at nationals so I can’t be anything but happy,” sophomore Katie Thompson said.“We had an incredible season and winning nationals would have been the cherry on top. However, I am very proud of our team and cannot wait to get back in the gym and start training for next year.”

Not only did the ’Hawks bring home a second place finish at nationals, they had five gymnasts who totaled seven All-American honors, while breaking a school record on beam with a score of 47.6

Thompson led the ’Hawks with four All-American honors, becoming the second gymnast in school history to do so. Justine Weyer accomplished that feat a year ago.

“Qualifying to event finals and earning All-American honors is a great accomplishment,” Thompson said. “However, the team competition on Friday was more fun because I got to share the moment with my teammates.”

Thompson finished sixth in the all-around competition, tied for fifth place on vault, tied for ninth on beam and 10th on bars.
In her first two years, Thompson has totaled seven All-American honors. Weyer leads UW-Whitewater with 10 All-American honors.

Others who received All-American honors include sophomores Annie Mix who finished second on bars and Mary Kate Young who tied for second on floor.

Mix and Young are both repeating All-Americans from last year.

Freshman Allyse Dieringer also earned All-American honors by finishing third on bars and senior Allison Nelson who finished eighth place on vault.

Nelson, now a three-time All-American on vault, couldn’t be happier the way she ended her career.

“I have had a great gymnastics career at UW-Whitewater,” Nelson said. “I have been a member and competitor of the WIAC second place team for two years and WIAC first place team for the last two years. It’s just an amazing feeling to be an All-American again.”

Hard work proved to be the reason why the ’Hawks finished the regular season undefeated, while winning back-to-back conference titles.

“My team is a group of fighters and that’s what they showed and proved all season,” head coach Jen Regan said. “That’s why they went undefeated in the regular season, won a conference championship, and came away with a second place finish in the country.”

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