The Gymnastics Team. Via wcupagoldenrams.com
West Chester University’s women’s gymnastics team recently wrapped up their 2023 spring season with a third-place finish at the 2023 USA Gymnastics Women’s Collegiate National Championships. The team’s performance at the national level was their best since 2017, a testament to the athletes and coaching staff’s hard work and dedication.
Competing at Kitty Magee Arena on the campus of Texas Woman’s University, the Golden Rams demonstrated their strength and skill on the mats. McKenna Kissinger, a graduate student from Chambersburg, delivered a career-best performance with a score of 9.775 on the vault, earning her seventh place overall. This was a remarkable achievement for Kissinger, who qualified for the individual finals and was named to the USAG All-American first team in her final collegiate campaign. During her tenure at West Chester, Kissinger has also excelled academically, receiving recognition as a two-time Women’ Collegiate Gymnastics Association Scholar Athlete.
Jordan Coleman, a sophomore from Bowie, Maryland, also had an outstanding performance at the National Championships. Coleman finished in sixth place with a score of 9.775 on the uneven parallel bars. This earned her a spot as a second team All-American, which is a noteworthy accomplishment for Coleman, who still has two more years to develop her gymnastics skills. Kristina Rodriguez, a sophomore from Cincinnati, also had a strong showing in the all-around event, capturing fifth place with a score of 38.375.
The Golden Rams total team score was 192.825, which was good enough for third place behind Texas Woman’s University (TWU) and Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO). TWU scored an impressive 195.475, with SEMO closely behind at 194.300. Despite the strong competition, the Rams never quit and put on a great spectacle for all in attendance.
West Chester is led by head coach Barbara Cordova, who took over as the team’s leader in 2008. During her tenure at the helm, Cordova has helped establish the Golden Rams as a contender both on a regional and national scale. Coming into the 2023 season, she has coached and most importantly been a mentor to one National Champion gymnast and eleven All-Americans. Her work rebuilding the Golden Rams team into a national powerhouse has not gone unnoticed as she has an impressive hardware collection that includes four Eastern College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Awards (2010, 2012, 2015 and 2017), the Ken Anderson Coach of the Year Award (2017) and the Division II Coach of the Year Award (2017).
Looking ahead, the Golden Rams will return many of their athletes next season, as they have six graduates out of the 24 athletes currently rostered. Combine this with a strong incoming recruiting class, and this gives West Chester a great chance to build on their successful campaign and compete on a national scale for years to come.
All in all, the West Chester University women’s gymnastics team had a remarkable campaign in 2023, culminating in a third-place finish at the USA Gymnastics Women’s Collegiate National Championships. The athletes’ dedication and hard work paid off in their individual and overall team performances. The team’s success is a testament to their hard work and unwavering commitment to excellence both on and off the mats.
For more information on all things West Chester sports, visit the Golden Rams athletics website to access schedules, rosters, ticket sales, statistics and more.
Erick Klambara Fourth Year Media and Cultures Major; Minor in Journalism EK924666@wcupa.edu