Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Warhawks just short at NCGA Nationals

The UW-Whitewater gymnastics placed 2nd in nationals behind conference rival UW-Oshkosh
Ky McCombe
Junior Gracie Tally who performs vault, bars, and the beam takes to the bar and concentrates to land her jump successfully at the Gymnastics Tournament Saturday Feb 17, 2024 in the Williams Center.

The UW-Whitewater Warhawks traveled to Ursinus College in Pennsylvania for the NCGA Nationals, competing as one of six teams rallying for the gymnastics national championship. At the top of the meet were all WIAC teams with the results being: UW-Oshkosh in first with 194.975, UW-Whitewater in second with 193.575, and UW-La Crosse in third with 193.175. The Oshkosh Titans had an individual place in the top three of all events as part of the dominant showing as a team. The first-place finish for the Titans makes this their third gymnastics championship in a row.

The Warhawks coming into the meet were fresh off a second-place finish in the WIAC Championship. Ahead of them were the Titans, so going into the national championship the Warhawks had their work cut out for them. Even more so because in their lone head-to-head match this year the Warhawks lost by less than a point with the final score being 191.300 to 190.375 in favor of the Titans. 

Although the Warhawks as a team lost the overall competition they were still the national runner-ups and finished with the programs third highest score in the national championship.

The Warhawks didn’t walk away empty-handed. Their performance on the uneven bars was a top-notch showing. Hayden Gough of the Warhawks tied for first place in the event with a score of 9.850 and a third-place finish from Kelsey Kolhoff helped secure the Warhawks as a top team in the event. Goughs score of 9.850 is the second highest in program history allowing her to become the seventh national champion for the Warhawks in uneven bars.

Despite a good overall match for the Warhawks, the Titans managed to stop their WIAC rival. Lauren Karnitz, coach of the Oshkosh Titans, has now won her third national championship in 17 years. Despite having won the championship the previous two years, the special feeling of being the top program in their division still hits the same. 

“This one meant a lot. I think one (referring to the 2022 championship) immediately after COVID was something we knew we could do. The second was like the first one wasn’t a fluke and something we knew we could do. This third was like this is now becoming a dynasty,” said Karnitz.

This marks the 50th overall national championship in Titans history. One of the top performers for the Titans is junior Mia Lucero who placed tied for first in vault with a score of 9.825 and first in floor exercise with a score of 9.00.

“I’m still trying to process everything that happened today,” said Lucero. “Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for anything better… I  was actually telling my teammates this morning I had a dream that we broke a record and I can’t recall what record it was, but I can definitely say my dream came true.”

The full breakdown of scoring can be found here. This marks the conclusion of the gymnastics season for the Warhawks. In the upcoming 2024-25 season the WIAC looks to be tightly contested again with multiple teams vying for the spot in the conference with the Titans eyeing a fourth consecutive gymnastics championship.

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About the Contributors
Matt Ellis
Matt Ellis, Women's Sports journalist
Ky McCombe, Multimedia Manger

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