Don’t flip out about the UW-Whitewater gymnastics team missing nationals. Leave the flipping to the gymnasts.
On March 9, the Warhawks finished third at the WIAC Championship/NCGA West Regional. The third place finish was just enough to propel UW-W to nationals.
Whitewater’s qualification to the NCGA National Championships will give the team a chance to win its third consecutive national title.
“It means the absolute world, we really don’t focus on individuals at all on our program, it’s all about team,” said senior Frankee Hutton-Lau. “We’re just beside ourselves with excitement.”
The Warhawks began the day on the vault securing a score of 46.925. Junior Lauren Marshall and freshman Abigail Missiaen both scored a 9.525, good enough for second place on all-WIAC podium.
Whitewater scored 45.975 on the uneven bars. Sophomore Blaise Wilson’s score of 9.500 and senior Bailey Fitzpatrick’s score of 9.475 placed them in fourth and seventh.
Although the Warhawks were struggling, head coach Jennifer Regan credits her team for not giving up.
“They could’ve given up after bars and they didn’t,” Regan said. “We’ve dealt with adversity all season long, and this isn’t anything new for us.”
On the beam, the Warhawks notched a 46.550. The Warhawks were led by Hutton-Lau, who finished tied in sixth.
Hutton-Lau said she knew the Warhawks could recover by simply believing in their abilities.
“That’s really like what this team is built on just believing in ourselves, and knowing that we’re good if we just go out there and do what we normally do,” Hutton-Lau said.
On the floor, the Warhawks scored a season best score of 47.975.
Fitzpatrick knew the Warhawks had to give everything they had on the last event.
“You don’t want to end on any regrets so no matter what, you want to go out there and give it all you can,” Fitzpatrick said.
After the meet, Fitzpatrick was awarded as a nominee for the WIAC Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete in women’s gymnastics. Senior Abby Helmke was named to the WIAC All-Sportsmanship Team.
The NCGA National Championships will be held in UW-Oshkosh on March 23.
“They wanted this so bad,” Regan said. “You could feel it, you could see it in their faces, especially after bars so for them to have this accomplished, it’s just amazing.”