Oshkosh finished the 2017 season ranked No. 79 and sixth in the WIAC. The team scored as high as a 191.25 against Centenary midway through the season and additionally, had three all-america performances lead by now sophomore Baylee Tkaczuk who won the bar title. Others that earned honors include Jessica Bernardo’s (second, all around) and Dana LoCascio (fifth, beam). The team loses three seniors but returns many talented underclassmen and welcomes a group of promising freshmen as well. While predicting lineups in DIII can be difficult, previews can give you a good idea of what to look for from the Titans next season.
Vault was a strong event for Oshkosh last season, finishing the season ranked 78th. In 2018, it will be lead by LoCascio who had an RQS above 9.5. Additionally, Karen King and Bernardo both had strong and consistent seasons for RQS scores in the 9.4 range. Amanda McBrayer and Tkaczuk both had season highs around 9.4, demonstrating the potential is there for regular high scores. Kailee Wilhalm also competed for the Titans on vault in 2017. Other likely contributors include freshmen Amira Ali who boasts a powerful Yurchenko layout and freshmen Paige Mayhew who has training videos of a full. Vault looks to be a strong event for the Titans next year with plenty of returning athletes with strong vaults, as well as lots of potential from the freshmen.
Bars was one of Titans’ the weaker events in 2017, but there is no shortage of talent. The team is by national champ Tkaczuk (9.825 season high) while Bernardo (9.725) and Kasandra Stamopolous (9.625) aren’t far behind. Bailee Harden, Alexa Swenn and Madison Reiter all scored above 9.1 last season as well. Additionally, Marisa Scholtens and Wilhalm competed bars in 2017. From the freshmen, Mayhew has a gienger and a blind full, and Ali has a jaeger and a bail. Both could challenge for places in the lineup. With increased experience, Oshkosh will look to be more consistent and showcase high levels of difficulty to really embrace what could be a strength for the team.
Oshkosh was ranked No. 76 on beam last season, making it the highest ranked event. The team returns a ton of potential and will look to increase consistency in 2018. High scorers last season include Tkaczuk who had an RQS of 9.6 and huge high of 9.825. Stamopolous reached 9.8 as well and LoCascio topped out at 9.725. Bailey Finn, McBrayer and Bernardo all had scores above 9.5 last season, giving the team a bevy of options come January. But the depth doesn’t stop there. Karen King provided a strong set last season and freshman Ali has a strong layout step out series and a switch leap to back tuck combo. Mayhew showcases a lovely hitch kick to side aerial and could see time in the top six as well. The Titans have many incredibly talented options, and if they can hit when it counts, the lineup will be hard to beat in the WIAC.
Oshkosh’s weakest event was floor in 2017. It will lose one of its highest scorers in Danielle Turner but return many high scoring routines that will be looking for some increased consistency next year. The team’s highest scorer was Finn with nearly a 9.6 RQS and season high of 9.8. LoCascio also scored a season high of 9.7 but struggled a bit with consistency. Bernardo was consistent with an RQS of 9.4, and Tkaczuk showed potential, earning a 9.5. McBrayer and Reiter both competed on floor for scores above 9.0 as well. Additionally, King and Krysten Zytniowski will provide extra depth to the lineup, having competition experience from past seasons. Freshmen Mayhew and Ali are both strong on floor with big double pikes, so the Titans should improve if everyone remains healthy.
Oshkosh has a very high ceiling in terms of potential and could be a team on the rise in 2018. It will be lead by potential all arounders Bernardo and Tkaczuk. The potential is there as both have scored above 37.5 and Bernardo is the reigning national runner up. Oshkosh will look to demonstrate its potential by maintaining its consistency week to week.
Follow NCAA DIII gymnastics all season and look for our weekly DIII previews every Tuesday in the fall at NCAA Gym News. Then, join the conversation by following NCAA Gym News on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Article by Morgan Bradford