National Champ

Kowalik wins all-around title at NCGA Championships

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Warwick native Candis Kowalik put on a show at the National Collegiate Gymnastic Association’s National Championships for the College at Brockport, scoring a 38.400 score which was good for the all-around title. Her performance also helped guide the Golden Eagles to their first team championship since the 2012 season. “We were waiting to get the results and were not sure how it would play out. But when we heard the second-place team be called we started feeling the excitement sink in. When our name was called we exploded, the tears were flowing, it was definitely the best thing that I have experienced in gymnastics during my four years,” said Kowalik. Kowalik, a Brockport senior that also won three high school state championships for Warwick Vets, had her most successful season of her college career in 2019. On top of the national championships, she was also named the East Region Gymnast of the Year and also took home the all-around title in the regional competition. Although she emerged as one of the elite college gymnasts in the country throughout the year, she was still surprised to hear her name be called and to be crowned the all-around champion at nationals. “It was very emotional. I never thought that I would be the all-around champion because I never thought that I would be able to compete in bars. It was an amazing experience. I knew I could do well, but every year is different,” said Kowalik, who was also excited to finish her gymnastics career on top with her teammates. “We couldn’t have gone out in a better way, we get to go out without any regrets, we got to make history. It was a moment filled with emotion, we couldn’t have asked for a better year.” Kowalik will be earning her degree this spring from Brockport. Although she is not expecting to compete competitively in the future, she still plans to be involved in the sport for the rest of her life, whether it be coaching or simply as a fan. “Gymnastics will always be a significant part of my life, whether it be coaching, or cheering from the sidelines I will always stay involved,” said Kowalik. “Unfortunately, my time competing has come to an end. I’m not sure when I’ll get back into it, I need to get used to being in the real world, but I know I will be back in the gymnastics community at some point in my life.”

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