Four gymnasts earn All-Americans at NCGA


Eight gymnasts qualified for the NCGA championships. Sophomore Kara Welsh earned the vault title and seven of the gymnasts earned All American honors.

Kaitlin Geisler, Assistant Women’s Sports Editor

To wrap up their season, eight UW-Whitewater women’s gymnasts traveled to Minnesota, accompanied by the rest of the team, to compete in the NCGA championships that took place on Mar. 25.

In the end, sophomore Kara Welsh came out on top, winning the vault title. She is the fifth Warhawk to claim the national title on vault, and had the third highest individual vault score in the program history with her score of 9.825. On top of that, this is Welsh’s third time achieving All-American in her career.

Three other women earned All-American honors along with Welsh by finishing among the top eight in the meet. Junior Sarah Knetzke placed second in beam, junior Kelsey Kollhoff placed third in floor, and sophomore Richella Velarmino placed sixth in bars.

We wanted to make sure that they had the numbers and were confident in their gymnastics. We worked on the little details and really emphasized the girls having fun and enjoying the moment,” head coach of the team Jennifer Regan said. “We knew that they were more than capable of achieving All Americans honors. They trusted their training and went out and really enjoyed the moment.”

With the four women who earned All-American honors, three other gymnasts also earned Academic All-American honors this season. As they are all seniors, Taiya Stelmachowski, Meg McGinley, and Faith Mylin have continued to be “leaders of the team” and “set the example when it comes to their academics” according to Regan in their time at Whitewater. 

“They are a great group of individuals who love Warhawk gymnastics,” Regan said. “They have done so much for our program and we are so very proud of them. Their leadership had a direct impact on our gymnasts, the team looks up to them and follows their lead. The seniors are looking at all of their options to see what the next steps are for their academic plan.”

As the team only has those three seniors, the gymnastics team will mainly consist of the same women next season. With this meet concluding the season, the team can say that they had a pretty successful season, considering they were able to successfully grow from the past years and work with their gymnasts to improve. 

What’s next for the team is finding recruits, and working to yet again build off their current success for next year. This includes building new goals, and even getting new skills.

“I believe that the team has grown so much after this past year,” Regan said. “They are excited to get back in the gym and train and improve for next season, and as a staff we are so excited to help the team accomplish new goals for next year. We will be working through these goals with the team over the next couple of weeks, and will be meeting with all of our athletes individually to plan for the future.”