Winona State hosts NCGA Nationals for the first time in history


Carolyn Hauschild

Four Winona State Warriors, Breanna Ho, Kennedy O’Connor, Kaylee Bateman, and Taryn Sellner, competed in the 2023 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association National Championship on March 25 held at WSU.

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, Sports Editor

After being delayed for two years due to COVID-19, Winona State hosted the 2023 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association National Championship on March 25 with six teams and 28 individual qualifiers.  

This is the first time that Winona State has hosted the NCGA National Championship, but they hosted the WIAC Regional Championship back in 2017. 

The whole teams that competed were University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, UW-La Crosse, UW- Stout, Springfield College, SUNY Brockport and Ithaca College.  

The three schools in the University of Wisconsin system swept the top three places in team standings, as well as the top all-around finisher being an individual qualifier, Tia Ravara, from UW- Eau Claire. 

The Warriors had four individual qualifiers: Breanna Ho in all around, Kennedy O’Connor on vault, Kaylee Bateman on Bars and Taryn Sellner on Beam and Floor.  

O’Connor placed 14th in vault while Ho placed 40th. In bars, Ho placed 24th and Bateman placed 47th due to an unfortunate fall during the first half of her routine.  

“I feel like going in today I kind of had a mindset of like, ‘Oh, whatever happens happens and I feel like fighting for that spot and knowing your place and also coming in as a freshman,” Bateman said, “I feel like there’s so much to lie up to and I feel like something I need to focus more on is just doing competitions like practice.” 

Bateman was the only first-year from Winona State to compete, adding another level of pressure since this is her first year under the college spotlight.  

On Beam, Ho placed 14th and Sellner placed 31st while on floor, they placed 49th and 44th, respectively.  

Ho placed 7th in all around out of 11 athletes with a score of 37.150, less than a point away from Ravara who won the all-around.  

Also ahead of Ho was Kiara Brown (Stout), Olivia Keyes (Rhode Island College), Emily Buffington (Oshkosh), Gianna Mirigliano (Cortland) and Harriet Toth (Eau Claire).  

Ho is a fourth-year student from Ajax, Ontario who started off her collegiate career on just bars before transferring to all around.  

“Becoming an all-around gymnast has been a real uphill battle,” Ho said. “So I was so proud of myself that I was able to just do this all year, let alone be successful in it.” 

The uphill battle has paid off as Ho is now a national athlete and has a wide list of accomplishments throughout her collegiate career.  

Throughout the season, Winona State has most commonly placed third, with first, second and fifth once.  

“I think it’s just been such a great experience to have these four individuals,” Head Coach Dr. Stephanie Geislinger said. “They’re definitely like top notch on our team, truly leads on the events that they do.” 

Going into next season, Ho is the only fourth-year that will be leaving the team. As a primarily young team, it will be exciting to see how the team will progress as the current first-years grow their skill set and relationship as a team.  

As this concludes the Winona State Gymnastics season, keep up with the team next season on and in our print edition every other week. 

Also check out fellow Sports Reporter Kailey Doeseckle’s profile on Ho this week on Page 8 and online.