Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Gymnastics vaults through initial meets

Gymnastics+vaults+through+initial+meets

As the UW-Whitewater Women’s Gymnastics team enters a new season, they have already had three meets, one of which being the first home meet of the season. But with the first two meets, the team set a very high standard for themselves.

The first meet of the season took place at UW-Eau Claire on Jan. 11, where the women placed 1st overall with their team total of 188.900. Although the team excelled in several of their events, they shined on vault when they swept the top three places. The last event for the Warhawks was uneven bars, where senior Kelsey Kollhoff earned the top score of the meet at 9.675. All of the strong individual performances and scores led to the Warhawk’s victory.

“As a leader, I feel like I try to keep it very light-hearted,” Kollhoff said. “I like having fun rather than being super serious and putting a lot of pressure on everyone. As a team we have been performing strong, so that environment can help take stress away.”

The strong performances carried through to the next week on Jan. 19 when the team went to Tennessee for an invite and ended up breaking the DIII and UWW record for a high total score of 194.450. Part of the contributor to that score was actually the final event of the night for the Warhawks, when they ended with a 48.700 on the balance beam. 

“We really started out strong at the first meet,” senior Ashlyn Vlcko said. “But we still knew that we had a lot of improving to do and we had a lot of space to do that. So we went into Tennessee, ready to have a good time and ready to see how we could all prove ourselves at that meet and I think we really did a good job of doing that. Again, we came out of that with a huge score and a new record and that was great, but after doing some reflecting, we definitely saw some places where we can all still improve so that’s always a good thing too.”

And those improvement areas are all things that the team will try to continue focusing on throughout the duration of the season as both Kolhoff and Vlcko agree.

“One thing we’ve been working on in practice, specifically on bars is hitting handstands and then we’ve also been working on sticking landings because at the end of the season, those are going to be the things that matter,” Kolhoff said. “The gymnastics team in the past has done really well, like there’s a lot of national championships and we kind of have a legacy that we always want to maintain.”

Part of maintaining their legacy is keeping strong leadership within the team and a good atmosphere.

“I think that with a really young team there’s definitely a lot of nerves going into any meet,” Vlcko said. “There’s a lot of new experiences happening for a lot of people, and I think the upperclassmen have done a really good job of telling them about how exciting it is and how fun home meets really are. So I think the biggest thing that we’re trying to do is really just be in the moment here and just embrace everything, take it all in because there’s a lot of fun things that are gonna happen throughout the season.”

As some of the seniors like Kollhoff and Vlcko look at their last season, these types of support and tactics are more important than ever. They always want to do their best and continue making their memories.

“My goal is really just to take every day as day one, week one because I’ve been here for four years now so we’ve experienced a lot and it’s really easy to lose track of that in D3 sports,” Vlcko said. “We’re in this to have fun so I’m really going into every day just trying to be better than I was the day before, and we will see how it all plays out. Hopefully we get to Nationals, that’s always the end goal.”

Nationals is set to take place on March 23, but another important meet will be WIAC Regionals, on March 9. Their next home meet will be Feb. 17, against UW-Stout.

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About the Contributor
Kaitlin Geisler, Women's Sports Editor

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