Gymnastics club president builds team to national title contention

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TCU’s gymnastics club has come a long way in two years.

In 2017, there was only one member on the team. Now, they’re TCU’s first club team to win a national title.

Abbie Moore giving teammate Kaitlyn Cihak tips. Photo credit Corrine Pennington.

Abbie Moore, a junior speech pathology major, was a president in search of a team after the 2017 season.

During her first year as president in 2018, Moore was able to consistently get eight to 10 people to show up to practice and five to six people at meets.

“I was super excited to get back into it and wanted to keep it going,” Moore said.

As president, Moore has led the club to two national championship appearances and a national title in 2019.

This year, the club has about 30 members, and 12 of them are going to compete.

Moore said she is thrilled to see more people wanting to be in the club.

“For me, it has been an incredible opportunity to continue my love of the sport,” Moore said. “Just to be at a place where it is available and making it bigger has been really exciting.”

Ella Gibson, a sophomore pre-business major and treasurer of the club, had nothing but praise for Moore’s leadership and determination.

“She did everything from the ground up last year and got us all wanting to do it and keep coming back,” Gibson said.

Practicing beam routines. Photo credit Corrine Pennington.

Mary Ellen, the associate director of programs at TCU, said the key to being a successful sports club is having good leadership — something Moore demonstrates on a daily basis.

“We are so proud of Abbie’s leadership skills,” Ellen said. “She has done such a great job at building the club up.”

Kaitlyn Cihak, a sophomore neuroscience pre-med major and vice president of the club, said they are still working to make the club more well-known.

“It is a good club here and we have a national title for TCU gymnastics which is a big deal,” Cihak said. “It deserves more recognition.”

Moore said her goal is to make sure the club is set up so it will continue after she graduates.

Gibson and Cihak were the first to join the team last fall after Moore took over the club. Cihak will take over as president when Moore graduates.

The TCU gymnastics club competes in the NAIGC (National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs), and their season will begin in the spring.