Gymnastics team competes at WIAC championships

Cade Fisher

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Photo by Shane Opatz

The gymnastics team finished their regular season at the UW-Lacrosse triangular a week before the WIAC championships.

The gymnastics team at UW-Eau Claire competed on March 5 at the Kachel Fieldhouse at UW-Whitewater. The team went for the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, or WIAC, championships.

The WIAC championships doubled as the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association, or NCGA, West Regional competition. This competition is the final competition before nationals.

According to the Blugold Athletics page, the gymnastics team earned a team score of 187.450, which became the fifth highest score in UW-Eau Claire’s gymnastics.

The athletic page also announced that the entry list for the NCGA national championships came out. On March 7, Andrea O’Connell was announced to be the only gymnast moving forward to represent UW-Eau Claire. However, she said that she knows she has her team’s support in her gymnastics journey.

“Everyone has a role on our team,” she said. “Everyone kind of has to step up and I feel like we do that and support each other really well.”

The NCGA championships will be held on March 26 at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. The competition will be live streamed for subscribers of Flogymnastics.

However, the NCGA nationals will be the last competition for the gymnastics team 2022 season. The team competed at a total of six competitions before the WIAC championships, with their first competition against Hamline University being canceled.

As this season comes to a close after the NCGA nationals, the gymnastics team will have a total of six seniors from their team graduating this semester. This leaves the other 15 gymnasts on the team to continue on into next year’s season.

The gymnastics team has come together and created a strong bond, Tia Ravara said, a second-year gymnast. She said the gymnastics team cheers each other on and supports one another.

“We have this drive of doing our best no matter what. We do gymnastics because we all love it,” she said. “Other teams do it to try and win, but that’s not what we want. We want to do it because we love gymnastics.”

This season also welcomed Jessie DeZiel, the head coach for the gymnastics team. The first year with a new head coach has the potential to change the dynamic of a team. She said that her goal for the season was to give the team a win.

According to the athletics page, the team did win one competition during their regular season. The team won on Feb. 11 at Gustavus Adolphus College with an overall score of 181.650-180.275. This win was the first one for the Blugolds in over three years.

DeZiel looked back on this past season and the team fondly. She talked about the team dynamic and chemistry during competitions, especially the WIAC championship competition.

“They announced the placements at the end of the meet and they didn’t announce number seventh or eighth,” she said. “They said ‘in fifth place scoring a’ and they said Eau Claire. All of the girl’s mouths just dropped to the floor and I would say for me that that was the most memorable thing.”

Fisher can be reached at [email protected].