Glitter and gold

Published on: Tue, Jan 08, 2019

TWU gymnastics vying for 12th national title

There are many differing opinions of Denton’s “best kept secret.”

From food trucks to quaint spots in the park, it seems each denizen of our endlessly exciting city has something different in mind when they bring this up. In reality, our true best kept secret may be no secret at all.

The Texas Woman’s University gymnastics team has been quietly dominating the national scene for much of their existence. They won four straight national championships in the 90s, and just enjoyed back-to-back national titles — their 10th and 11th — while registering the highest score ever seen in a title competition.

The previous record holder? TWU, of course.

But the Pioneers and head coach Lisa Bowerman are just getting started.

“We have our eyes set on a 12th championship,” Bowerman says. “We’re going to continue to build on our past successes by becoming even stronger in all areas of our gymnastics and our culture.”

Words like that will surely strike fear into the heart of TWU’s foes. As the only varsity-level intercollegiate gymnastics program in the state of Texas, the Pioneers compete against a range of Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 teams from across the United States. Last year, they defeated Yale and Cornell en route to the national title. But Coach Bowerman says there’s no secret weapon to these ladies’ success — just pure, unbridled hard work.

“They have a drive and a passion that keep them constantly reaching for more,” she says of her gymnasts. “This program is successful because of the people who are a part of it and the people who support it.”

That includes Dentonites — the loyal friends and fans who have supported the program all these years, and will continue to do as the Pioneers continue their legacy of dominance. Recently, a team of Dentonite donors stepped up to provide the gymnasts with a newly renovated team room — a space for which the players are “grateful beyond measure.”

Several of last year’s key athletes are back this season for another shot at national glory including Hope Parkin, Megan Gentry and Hunter Vincent. And while they show no signs of taking their foot off the gas, Coach Bowerman knows they’re also enjoying the moment.

“What truly makes this special is the journey,” she says. “The relationships and the memories they create will last a lifetime, and we are all excited to see what this year will bring.”

TWU Gymnastics

Meets at Kitty Magee Arena

Tickets: $10/adults,

$5 youth/seniors

Kids 12 and under free

More info:

Photos courtesy of Michael Modecki // TWU