UW-Eau Claire Gymnastics places third in home Quadrangular

UW-Eau Claire gymnastics team competed alongside Hamline University, Winona State University and UW-Whitewater on Friday.

Anna Smith

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Photo by Leah Pflaum

The UWEC Women’s Gymnastics team celebrated their senior night on Friday, Feb. 18, at the McPhee Physical Education Center.

The UW-Eau Claire gymnastics team placed third in their final home meet of the 2021-2022 season and finished with their highest score of the season, a 185.225.

UW-Eau Claire competed alongside Hamline University, UW-Whitewater and Winona State University for the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Quadrangular of the season. 

Coach Jessie DeZiel of the UW-Eau Claire gymnastics team touched on what a typical quadrangular looks like as well as the team’s expectations for that Friday meet.

“With a meet comes more pressure, especially when you’re in front of judges and you’re in front of fans,” DeZiel said. “We are always trying to get our routines like we have them in practice, but on the competition floor.”

Andrea Gessner, a fourth-year accounting and finance major also talked about their goals going into the competition.

“I came into the meet expecting to beat Hamline,” Gessner said. “We came close to beating Winona as well but didn’t quite do it.”

Typically, the team only competes against one other team, but with the quadrangular, there were four teams doing all four gymnastic events. Gessner describes the scenes from the floor as a way to get them “hyped up to perform” as well.

“A quad meet is all four events in Olympic order, and the event itself is louder with more going on and more energy,” DeZiel said.

DeZiel said the feeling of home competition and how the team performs in that environment gives them an idea of what to expect for the night. 

Gessner also said competing at home and what that feels like from an athlete’s perspective.

“I love the atmosphere of performing at home,” Gessner said. “I feel more confident performing at home because I’m in a more familiar environment.”

The team also held alumni and senior night this past Friday, with alumni coming back to watch the event and be recognized on the floor. DeZiel said many alumni were on the team not too long ago and were teammates with current athletes.

Gessner, having been on the team since 2018, said insights onfrom what the team does for senior and alumni night, such as the seniors’ parents creating shadow boxes of gymnastics memories for each of them.

When reflecting back on senior and alumni night, Gessner said what they will miss most about the sport and the team,; ranging from feelings to accomplishments.

“I will really miss the feeling that gymnastics gives me,” Gessner said., “It brings excitement to my life and makes me feel like I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.”

Gessner also said the goals the team has for this weekend’s meet in La Crosse.

“Although we finished third out of four teams at our last meet, our team score was 3 points higher than our season high,” Gessner said., “This week we will each be focusing on the details.” 

UW-Eau Claire will travel to UW-La Crosse on February 25 and compete in a WIAC Triangular, including the UW-La Crosse team and Winona State University team once more. The final meet of the year is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Smith can be reached at [email protected].