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National Collegiate Gymnastics Association

Brockport Claims First NCGA Title Since 2012; Kowalik Earns All-Around National Championship

Oshkosh, Wis. – March 24, 2019 – The College at Brockport Golden Eagles women’s gymnastics team won its first National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) National Championship since 2012 on Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Kolf Sports Center.

Brockport posted a 191.050 to win over Stout (190.275), Whitewater (190.150), UW-Oshkosh (189.400), Ithaca (187.975) and Cortland (185.500). The Golden Eagles were led by an impressive floor rotation, producing a 48.625, which was 0.525 better than its closest competitor. Brockport also registered a 48.275 on vault, a meet best.

The top 8 competitors on each event including the all-around competition earned NCGA All-America honors for the 2019 season.

Brockport’s Candis Kowalik won an all-around national title as she notched a 38.400, while UW-Stout’s Mikala Bugge was second with a 38.050. UW-Oshkosh’s Jessica Bernardo was third with a 37.525, while rounding out the top five was Brooke Merila of Gustavus Adolphus with a 37.350 and Springfield’s Jess Clemens, who produced a 37.225. Sixth was Allie DiBiase of Rhode Island College with a 37.150, followed by Amanda Malo of Gustavus Adolphus with a 36.900 and Brooke Terry of UW-Stout, who was eighth with a combined score of 36.400.

On vault, UW-Stout’s Shadae Boone through her yurchenko full one-and-a-half to earn a national-champion score of 9.825, while UW-Whitewater’s Lauren Marshall and Cortland’s Rachel Filipski were second with a mark of 9.750. Nicole Jackson and Stephanie Mager tied for fourth with a 9.725, while Kowalik was credited with a 9.700. Bugge was seventh with a score of 9.675, before Rahdea Jarvis and Emily Gilot of UW-Oshkosh had matching eighth-place scores of 9.650.

Ithaca’s Courtney Christoforo won a national title on the uneven bars with a 9.675, as she was followed by UW-Stout’s Sierra Beaver and UW-Whitewater’s Bailey Fitzpatrick, who have second-place scores of 9.650. Baylee Tkaczuk’s UW-Oshkosh took fourth with a score of 9.625, before teammate Kaira Hammond posted a fifth-place score of 9.600. Rounding out the top eight was a three-way tie for sixth between Malo, Breghan Kiloran of UW-Lacrosse and Blaisee Wilson of UW-Whitewater, who all had scores of 9.575.

Moving to the balance beam, UW-Whitewater’s Franchesca Hutton-Lau won with a score of 9.775, as she was followed by Emma Schulz of Cortland and Ally Blixt of UW-La Crosse, who posted scores of 9.750. Fourth was UW-Stout’s Britney Wolfe, who notched a 9.725, as she was followed by a 9.700 from Kelly Johnston from Winona State, who took fifth. Finishing in a tie for sixth was Meghan Webb of Hamline and Sierra Beaver of UW-Stout, while Bugge rounded out the All-America honorees with a score of 9.650.

Schulz won a national title in the floor exercise, as she posted a score of 9.825 to win the event, as she was followed by Kiya Bjorge from UW-Eau Claire’s mark of 9.800. Brockport’s Alexis Castellaneta and Candis Kowalik and Hamline’s Darby Slater all tied for third with a mark of 9.775, while Emily Gilot of UW-Oshkosh, Acacia Fossum of UW-Whitewater and Tali Twomey of Springfield all tied with a 9.725.

Also recognized at the meet was the 2019 NCGA Coach of the Year, Lauren Karnitz of UW-Oshkosh, who helped her team to the national championship meet for the first time since the 2013 season. Additionally, the NCGA named its Outstanding Senior Award recipient, which was Ithaca’s Rachel Lee, for her inspiring story as a cancer survivor that returned to the beam lineup for the Bombers this season.