Tia Ravara wins Women’s Gymnastics National Championship

Women’s Division III national championship win

More stories from Lindsey Crain



Ravara accepting her medal for the national championship

UW-Eau Claire student-athlete Tia Ravara has won the national championship and won the all-around national title at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Championships.

The Women’s Gymnastics team traveled once again to the NCGA Championships, where Ravara won it all. This performance made Ravara the second gymnast from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to win a championship, besides Michaela McCamey- Metropulos, 2012, but Ravara is the first Blugold to win the national title all around.

Head Coach Jessie DeZiel said, “Tia is an incredibly talented gymnast. She, as a competitor, she’s a very strong competitor. She’s very intense when she competes, but also at the same time brings a lot of energy.”

DeZiel said the team’s season overall was, “Quite a bit better than last year. Every single meet for the most part our scores were a lot higher consistently this year than they were last year, which was awesome.”

Ravara’s strengths, edge and training throughout the whole season with her teammates prepared her for this competition, DeZiel said.

“A lot of the times in Division III, bars are a really hard event for these girls, and that’s something that she (Ravara) really excels at. She’s great at it, I mean bars and beam are kind of her events,” DeZiel said.

According to another Blugold athlete, volleyball’s Abigail Wherland, Ravara’s was a huge achievement. 

“It’s a really big deal getting where Tia was, at the national level,” Wherland said. “The time, commitment and sacrifice you have to make as a student-athlete is no joke. You can tell her dedication and determination towards the program, sport and herself was prominent this season.”

DeZiel said the coaching teams work to hold all their teams accountable. When it’s hard, she said, they tell them not to give up, but keep working through frustration. 

“When they mentally know they can do it, especially when it’s hard,” DeZiel said. “They know that we support them and have the support from the team. Especially when they’re at a meet, they feel 100% that it’s going to be a cakewalk, so I think that’s really helped our entire team, especially Tia.”

DeZiel said Ravara supported her teammates throughout the whole season. 

“Tia’s a very open person,” DeZiel said. “Very nonjudgmental, so anybody can come into the gym and she’ll make them feel welcome, which is what I love about her.”

“It’s fun to see them come together as a team.” DeZiel said. “We had incredible leadership from our upperclassmen, especially Tia. We never had to motivate her extra, she always wanted to be there and be a team leader.”

Women’s Division III sports have been growing throughout the years. Gymnastics and volleyball are the only all-women teams at UW-Eau Claire. 

“(The volleyball team) and the gymnastics team are the only all girls sports here on campus, which makes us feel really special,” Wherland said. “But there’s also a responsibility and standard to obtain. With both the gymnastics team and the volleyball team being successful, it helps drive and empower women’s sports at the Division III level.”

Ravara, a third-year, still has a senior season to compete.

“Tia got All-American Honors, and All-Around, and she’s only a junior. Plus, she’s wanting the whole team to get back there,” Deziel said. “I feel like they’re gonna step up even more in the gym next year to try to get our entire team at nationals.”

With the gymnastics team’s season coming to an end, DeZiel said the main goal next year is to make it to Nationals as a team, be prepared for whatever happens, and win. 

“I just had fun, and it paid off,” Ravara said.

To follow along next season with the Women’s Gymnastics team, visit blugolds.com.

Crain can be contacted at [email protected]