Three time All-American


Vault hasn’t always been Welsh’s best event, but her hard work paid off and led her to her third All-American. Next year she plans to get another skill and maybe even go back to all four events.

Kaitlin Geisler, Assistant Women’s Sports Editor


Recently titled the vault champion at the NCGA championships, sophomore Kara Welsh has become the fifth Warhawk to claim a national title on vault. Her score of 9.825 is at the top of the program’s scores being the third highest. Although this would be her third time receiving an All-American, Welsh claims vault hasn’t always been her best event.

“I used to be a bar girl, but I don’t do bars anymore,” Welsh said. “I started working very hard in the summer before my freshman year on vault. I was like ‘it’s the quickest event, let me make it the best.’ I worked and didn’t give up on myself and now vault has become my favorite for the past two years.”

Last year as a freshman Welsh also got second place at Nationals, despite how new everything was to her. This year she had more experience and was able to be a lot more sure of herself, so according to her that and the hard work all helped her get to where she is: a national champion.

“Actually, my mom and dad ruined that I won for me,” Welsh said. “I landed and I was like, ‘Oh my God, what did I do like? That was the best vault I’ve done all season.’ I was just in shock. I was so happy and I gave Jen the biggest hug I’ve ever given. I went up in the stands after because the last rotation we didn’t have anything. So I went and saw my friends and family. Everyone  was like, ‘Kara you won’ and I was like ‘Don’t tell me that.’ It was a surreal feeling. And I’ll never forget that feeling of just going crazy after my vault.”

Another thing that Welsh said helps her is her teammates. That relationship and support can make all the difference in a sport.

“Right before my vault, I had been watching other people go, which I probably shouldn’t have. So I got kind of nervous and one of my teammates, Chloe, talked to me and was like ‘I don’t know why you’re nervous, this is your event.’ So that made me feel so much more ready and calm,” Welsh said. “I just feel like this is so much more different than last year just because we are so close. And I feel like I can go up to anyone and ask them for advice. I felt really lucky when Jen said that they could come to NCGA. I thought no one was gonna be cheering for me, but they came, and hearing them supporting me was everything.”

Being a part of this team is something that Welsh says she is super grateful for. When she was in high school she didn’t even necessarily think about going on to play college, but her then coach gave her no choice.

“I decided when my coach told me I had to go,” Welsh said. “He said I was too good to quit, and I was like, ‘Okay, I guess I’ll go to college.’ But I started looking at D1 schools and I decided I didn’t really want to be a part of that  because I want to be a part of a family atmosphere. And my sister was at Oshkosh, so it was between here and Oshkosh and I really liked this school better. Every sports team here is always out to support each other, and I don’t think many other colleges do that. It’s just like a family atmosphere.”

Now that this gymnastics season has concluded, it’s back to practicing and improving. Welsh said her next plans include getting more skills such as maybe upping her vault to a full and a half instead of just a full. But another idea of hers is that she “might try all-around again, but that’s to be determined.”