A pink and white graphic with Potential Lineups: WIAC Part I

Potential Lineups: WIAC Part 1

Can anyone say REPEAT?! UW-Oshkosh had another record-breaking season, winning both the conference and Division III national championships for the second year in a row in 2023. Don’t let the stats fool you, though. The rest of the top WIAC teams brought the heat as well, making the quest challenging. UW-La Crosse, UW-Whitewater, and UW-Stout all saw an increase in difficulty in their lineups which helped put the pressure on the reigning champs. If the offseason tapes have anything to say about it, the kitchen is only about to get hotter. 

The preseason is starting and 2024 will be here before we know it. That means it’s time for our annual potential lineups analysis! As gymnasts get back into the gym with new goals for the new season, we’re breaking their prospects down and taking a look at what each team’s lineups may look like come January—from who’s expected to contribute, holes that need to be filled, and exciting upgrades fans should look out for.

No. 67 UW-Oshkosh

The two-time reigning champions are entering the chat. With quite a few graduating routines, new faces are bound to make their way into lineups this season, but the winning culture is likely to be the star of the show. 

Losses: Adana Amor (UB), Rahdea Jarvis (VT, UB, FX), Trinity Sawyer (VT, UB, FX), Kennedy Springer (FX), Haley Volstad (VT, UB, FX), 
Gains: Ashlyn Clemens, Taylor Leaman, Kasha Muraski, Mia Passarella, Julianna Ratkowski, Emma Steele, Paige Vitek
Returning From Injury: Mackenzie Havlik


Potential Contributors: Reanna McGibboney (NQS 9.760), Mia Lucero (9.725), Emily Buffington (9.585), Daejah Rose (9.550), Mady Bellmore, Taylor Leaman, Paige Vitek

How It Looked Before: Oshkosh brought a full lineup of twisting vaults with a sprinkle of handspring front pike, which made for a high scoring potential. 

How It Looks Now: Vault loses some depth this year after several graduations. Paige Vitek brings a Yurchenko half that should challenge for the lineup.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? It’s a bit too soon to tell how vault will go in 2024. 


Potential Contributors: Sam Zeilinger (NQS 9.560), Emily Buffington (9.515), Kaylie Berens (9.485), Reanna McGibboney, Amaya McConkay, Mae O’Connor, Ashlyn Clemens, Julianna Ratkowski, Paige Vitek

How It Looked Before: Bars tested the waters a bit with the lineup, and ultimately scoring fluctuated throughout the season. However, the team was going for its highestscoring potential routines all season, which proved fruitful come postseason. 

How It Looks Now: Bars lost some highcaliber routines stacked with big release moves. The freshmen class brings a variety of big releases that will complement the strengths of those with competitive experience. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? It’s a bit too soon to tell, but a slight trend down is plausible this season. 


Potential Contributors: Delaney Cienkus (NQS 9.715), Mady Bellmore (9.640), Liz Romano (9.590), Kaylie Berens (9.530), Lydia Hayden (9.500), Emily Buffington (9.465), Anna Zoromski (9.325), Amaya McConkay, Ella Wilson, Emma Steele

How It Looked Before: Beam exemplified the team’s highest highs and lowest lows in 2023. Luckily, when the stakes were high, the beam team came through. Delaney Cienkus stepped into her own on this event, propelling the team forward. 

How It Looks Now: With no graduating beam routines, not much has to change here, but Emma Steele brings a solid potential for a front aerial back handspring layout series that would look great on any competition podium. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? The beam team is trending on up.


Potential Contributors: Delaney Cienkus (NQS 9.715), Reanna McGibboney (9.665), Emily Buffington (9.655), Daejah Rose, Lydia Hayden, Aleah Radojevich, Taylor Leaman, Julianna Ratkowski, Paige Vitek

How It Looked Before: The upperclassmen led the way here with big, consistent scores from the likes of Kennedy Springer and Trinity Sawyer closing out meets strong. 

How It Looks Now: With so many vacancies on the event left by graduates, floor is going to see the debut of some new faces. Luckily there’s some powerful tumbling waiting in the wings for the opportunity to shine.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? If anything, this event might trend slightly down due to the graduation of many experienced routines. 

Three Big Questions

Event to watch?

Bars will likely be the tell-tale sign of how 2024 will go. While the team has the single bar release moves to continue to hang at the top of the leaderboard, it’s easy to slip into the “inconsistently making routines” category with a younger bar lineup. If bars is on track, expect the rest of the events to keep UWO in the fight for the top spot in the conference. 

Most likely to be a rising star?

Keep your eye on Paige Vitek. She brings a clean line, a Yurchenko half, and dynamic tumbling to the table that will easily make her a contender for a multi-event contributor, if not an allaround competitor. 

Where do the freshmen need to fill in the holes?

Bars and floor saw the most graduating routines. On the bars front, the incoming class brings a Jaeger, Gienger, and Maloney trio which will put some pressure on the returners, as lineup spots are no guarantee. While floor graduated plenty of routines, other returners have also had intermittent competitive experience, so there’s a touch less need on this event. But if we do see a freshman on the event in 2024, watch out for some dynamic double backs. 

No. 68 UW-La Crosse

La Crosse will look to build off the momentum of last season where it eclipsed the 192-mark multiple times. Increasing vault and bar difficulty proved to be a game changer, pushing the Eagles within tenths of a national title. 

Losses: Jordyn Faust, Kerrie Legault (UB), Cate Sandvik (VT, UB, BB, FX), Madi Vanderpool (VT, UB, BB), Rachel Hettiarachchy (Transfer to UW-Eau Claire)
Gains: Sarah Best, Paige Breckwoldt, Raina Christenson, Elizabeth Janssen, Lauren Main, Eden Mortensen, Claire Robbins, Lucy Warren


Potential Contributors: Alex Wood (NQS 9.735), Rachel Chesley (9.730), Sarah Pastore (9.575), Hannah Hautala, Kyla Dickson, Lily Millington, Sarah Pasore, Jessica Taylor, Paige Breckwoldt, Claire Robbins, Lucy Warren

How It Looked Before: Alex Wood and Rachel Chesley led the way, backed by a consistent tuck full from Madi Vanderpool.

How It Looks Now: With Wood’s fifth year, and hopefully Lily Millington’s fully healthy season, the Eagles should be in a good spot. The team brought in a few new twisting vaults as well that will increase the team’s scoring potential.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. 


Potential Contributors: Rachel Chesley (NQS 9.700), Sara Beck (9.485), Claudia Walter (9.355), Ashlyn Barker, Abby Mitchell, Sarah Best, Elizabeth Janssen, Raina Christenson, Lauren Main, Eden Mortensen, Claire Robbins, Lucy Warren

How It Looked Before: The bar team was led by the senior class and the high-flying releases of Rachel Chesley. More consistent difficulty and clean routines made for a successful bar lineup in 2023. 

How It Looks Now: When I tell you the Eagles recruited for bars… this team was not messing around. While this is likely to be a young lineup this year, it will also have the potential to put UWL over the edge in scoring potential. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Assuming the hit percentage for routines is reasonable, bars should be trending up this season.  


Potential Contributors: Kyla Dickson (NQS 9.625), Marisa Zepeda (9.550), Jordan Halcom (9.525), Hannah Hautala (9.425), Rachel Chesley, Hunter Matulka, Caelen Lansing, Sarah Best, Raina Christenson, Claire Robbins

How It Looked Before: Beam was one of the more inconsistent events of the year, but it had the potential to score in the mid 48.0 range. 

How It Looks Now: With plenty of upperclassmen getting the experience and stepping into their own on beam last season, the event should be in good shape come January. Look for Raina Christenson’s triple series to add some depth to the lineup. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Expect beam to continue on an upward trajectory. 


Potential Contributors: Rachel Chesley (NQS 9.680), Caelen Lansing (9.655), Jessica Taylor (9.655), Alex Wood (9.590), Ashlyn Barker (9.530), Kyla Dickson, Hunter Matulka, Sarah Best, Eden Mortensen, Claire Robbins, Lucy Warren

How It Looked Before: Floor started slowly, but quickly picked up the pace, remaining in the 48-range for the majority of the season. A lineup full of dynamic routines with entertaining dance was the perfect recipe for a successful season on the event. 

How It Looks Now: Minus Sandvik, floor should look about the same this season. However, the depth chart just got longer, so don’t be surprised if some new faces make an appearance. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Floor is likely to remain about the same in 2024. 

Three Big Questions

Will 2024 be the Eagles year? 

UWL recruited like it is trying to win the whole thing this season. With a large outgoing class, it’s always hard to tell what the next season will look like, but with this roster, it seems the Eagles are prepared for anything. Based on preseason videos, this team should definitely have the difficulty level necessary to hang with and eclipse the top spot in the conference and the country. Only time will tell if the momentum of the end of 2023 is contagious. 

Most entertaining event?

The Eagles know how to have a floor party with the best of them. From the music choice to the choreography to the tumbling, prepare to be entertained anytime this team hits the mat. 

Where the Bar Stars at? 

While Rachel Chesley, with her rafter-grazing Tkatchev amplitude, is a star in her own right, the freshman class is bringing the heat. Tkatchevs, Maloneys, Giengers, and Jaegers of the piked and straddled variety are all featured in this incoming class. While any of them hypothetically could be in the lineup come January, Sarah Best is winning the award for “Best Lines” right now, a position previously held by Kerrie Legault

No. 70 UW-Whitewater

Following a stellar regular season, the Warhawks were stunned at the conference championships to just miss a nationals team qualification spot. While this was likely disappointing, that did not stop the individual qualifiers from bringing home some metallic inspiration heading into 2024. 

Losses: Meg McGinley (VT, BB, FX), Faith Mylin (VT, UB, BB, FX), Ava Ridlehoover, Taiya Stelmachowski (UB) 
Gains: Elena Bailey (transfer from SCSU), Alyssa Crisp, Kora Donley, Hayden Gough, Farrah Hutcheson, Ava Pesch, Carley Scott (transfer from Lindenwood), Mia Rose Thackston (transfer from Temple), Hailey Smallwood


Potential Contributors: Kara Welsh (NQS 9.785), Carleigh Moore (9.660), Brianna Balian (9.650), Alayna Fern, Richella Velarmino, Elaine Copeland, Danielle Dudziak, Eliana Thompson, Elena Bailey, Mia Rose Thackston, Hayden Gough, Ava Pesch

How It Looked Before: There is a reason why Kara Welch walked away with a national title on this event. Her full was large, in charge, and typically with a stellar landing. Overall, the lineup brought more twisting vaults to the table that only got better as the season went on. 

How It Looks Now: The Warhawks added a few more experienced vaulters with the transfer portal, so expect an immediate impact there. Don’t forget to watch for Hayden Gough’s Yurchenko half or Ava Pesch’s tuck full, though. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Expect vault to trend about the same in 2024. 


Potential Contributors: Richella Velarmino (NQS 9.630), Estee Flom (9.510), Elaine Copeland (9.450), Ashlyn Vlcko (9.415), Danielle Dudziak (9.255), Carley Scott, Gracie Talley, Kora Donley, Hayden Gough, Ava Pesch

How It Looked Before: While bars demonstrated the potential, the lineup fell apart on the big stage, ultimately making qualifying to nationals impossible. 

How It Looks Now: Expect Carley Scott to be able to make an immediate impact here. Gough and Pesch bring a duo of Jaegers, while Gracie Talley has been biding her time, waiting to shine in this lineup with her upgrades. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. 


Potential Contributors: Sarah Knetzke (NQS 9.710), Kelsey Kollhoff (9.400), Richella Velarmino (9.235), Tegan Haberstock (9.170), Danielle Dudziak, Carley Scott, Hailey Smallwood, Gracie Talley, Shannon Chase

How It Looked Before: Beam was a bit rocky throughout the season, but Knetzke pulled out a second place finish at the championships to give herself the gold-silver medal set. 

How It Looks Now: Expect to see some new faces in this lineup to compliment the lineup we’ve come to love. Hailey Smallwood has been training a side aerial to back handspring series that would bring unique difficulty to the roster. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Only up from here. 


Potential Contributors: Kelsey Kollhoff (NQS 9.795), Carleigh Moore (9.685), Kara Welsh (9.680), Elaine Copeland (9.465), Danielle Dudziak (9.185), Alyssa Crisp, Kora Donley, Hayden Gough (double pike, rudi), Gaby Hinkle, Farrah Hutcheson, Hailey Smallwood

How It Looked Before: Floor was easily the best event on the year, with plenty of dynamic tumbling to go around. Obviously, this was Kollhoff’s time to shine, but no one else was far behind. 

How It Looks Now: Hello chart depth. This is likely going to be the hardest lineup to make in 2024. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Expect floor to trend about the same, and that’s to say that things are going to likely stay great. 

Three Big Questions

Back with a Vengeance?

There’s no way the Warhawks left the 2023 season not hungry for more. While the team graduated some solid multi-event athletes in Faith Mylin and Meg McGinley, for the most part the team should be able to pick up where it left off. The addition of three transfers should also help the team from a leadership aspect, pushing the team to only get better with time. 

What’s the biggest hole left behind by the graduating class?

Floor is the event with the most potential for score dropoff here. And that’s not to say that the team doesn’t have strong floor workers on the roster. It’s just that Mylin’s consistency was unmatched, and even a floor introduction in March couldn’t get McGinley below 9.650. All this to say, it’ll be interesting to see what the lineup shuffling looks like toward the beginning of the year as the season gets up and running. 

Transfer party! Who is going to make the most immediate impact in their first year as a Warhawk?

While all three have the potential to make a splash in 2024, Carley Scott has the momentum coming off two seasons with Lindenwood, most recently winning a USAG national title in 2023. She has a unique Delchev on bars and the lines to score well in any college lineup. 

No. 74 UW-Stout

UW-Stout came in as an underdog and clawed its way into the national championship meet. The team only got better as the year went on in 2023. With the loss of only two weekly routines, 2024 is looking like a bright future for the Blue Devils.

Losses: Carlie Beatty (BB, FX), Lucy Krieg
Gains: Amy Fridley, Ella Hemker, Cassidy Lennard, Molly Rickey (transfer from Pittsburgh), Taylar Schaefer, Kaitlyn Vaz


Potential Contributors: Gillian Cummins (NQS 9.600), Kiara Brown (9.500), Anna Mielke (9.495), Isabela Krulich (9.410), Jessica Qualich (9.390), Gabrielle Winstead (9.385), Ashtyn Gagner (9.350), Heidi Benningfield, Jensen DeJong, Amy Fridley, Kaitlyn Vaz

How It Looked Before: Gillian Cummins’ twisting vault stole the show, getting more consistent as the postseason approached. 

How It Looks Now: Kaitlyn Vaz will add some muchneeded difficulty on this event giving the team a scoring potential boost. Look for upgrades from returners as well. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? With no graduated routines and some more depth options, vault should trend up in 2024.


Potential Contributors: Kiara Brown (NQS 9.630), Alia Wilson (9.455), Teagan Green (9.240), Gillian Cummins (9.160), Effie Ferguson (9.145), Camille Lindley (9.050), Cassidy Lennard, Kaitlyn Vaz

How It Looked Before: Bars was consistently the lowestscoring event throughout the season. Kiara Brown’s smooth routine was the highlight. 

How It Looks Now: Vaz also brings some difficulty on this event with a clear hip-to-Delchev combination. Cassidy Lennard’s double layout would make a great addition to the lineup as well. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Intuition says bars should trend up slightly this season. 


Potential Contributors: Effie Ferguson (NQS 9.705), Isabela Krulich (9.625), Kiara Brown (9.480), Gabrielle Winstead (9.430), Alia Wilson (9.180), Genevieve Czaplewski, Ashtyn Gagner, Amy Fridley, Cassidy Lennard, Molly Rickey, Taylar Schaefer, Kaitlyn Vaz  

How It Looked Before: Beam finally got into its groove toward the end of the season, with its best performance coming at the national championship. Effie Ferguson and Isabela Krulich were stars on this event. 

How It Looks Now: The depth options on this event should get interesting. Lennard brings a unique switch leap to two-footed switch jump combination that should entice the judges. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Beam should trend a smidge up. 


Potential Contributors: Isabela Krulich (NQS 9.615), Kiara Brown (9.540), Effie Ferguson (9.435), Ashtyn Gagner (9.425), Genevieve Czaplewski (9.370), Gabrielle Winstead (9.300), Gillian Cummins, Ella Hemker, Molly Rickey, Taylar Schaefer, Kaitlyn Vaz (got hops) 

How It Looked Before: The potential for strong scores was there, led by Krulich and Brown, but consistency was hit or miss depending on the week. 

How It Looks Now: This is another event that is full of depth options for 2024. Molly Rickey has a front double full in her tool belt, and Vaz has amplitude for days. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Floor should be moving up the ladder. 

Three Big Questions

What do the Blue Devils need to push them to be a conference contender?

Vault and bar difficulty is the main thing holding this team back. It’s hard to start a competition in the hole by tenths just from start value alone and challenge for a title. Slowly this team is adding pieces to better its chances. 

What’s the biggest impact of having a battle-tested team?

2023 brought a great deal of competitive experience to a majority of Stout’s roster, setting the stage for a strong campaign in 2024. More experience typically leads to more consistency. More consistency increases the likelihood of another upset like we saw at 2023 west regionals. Being battle-tested makes Stout more likely to have a good day on the right day to challenge the top teams in the conference. 

Who’s the freshman to watch? 

Keep your eye on Kaitlyn Vaz. She has the potential to make a name for herself almost immediately, potentially in the allaround. She brings the combination of amplitude, difficulty, and lines that will score big in the NCAA. 

READ THIS NEXT: Potential Lineups: MAC Part II

Article by Tavia Smith, PT, DPT


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