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Prep gymnastics outlook: Teams, athletes to watch during the season

Prep gymnastics outlook: Teams, athletes to watch during the season

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AREA RANKINGS

(With best score of this season)

1, Mount Horeb (142.375 points)

2, Janesville Craig (132.7)

3, Sun Prairie (129.95)

4, Verona/Madison Edgewood (129.45)

5, Milton (129.45)

6, Baraboo (129.05)

7, Waunakee/DeForest (127.55)

GYMNASTS TO WATCH

Thea Bender, fr., Madison East/La Follette: Placed 18th at 2019 Division 1 state meet on balance beam (8.717). Placed 15th in floor exercise (9.067). Has been nursing an ankle injury during the early part of the current season, according to coach Ashley Wu.

Taylor Engelkes, jr., Middleton: Returns after helping Middleton earn a surprise trip to the WIAA Division 1 state team tournament last year after a sixth-place finish in the Big Eight.

Brooke Girard, so., Milton/Edgerton: Has scored 9.15 on beam and 9.0 in vaulting this season, her first with the Red Hawks program. Has taken on a leadership role along with sophomore Ireland Olstad and junior Lindsey Heitsman.

Tea Hellen, sr., Madison Memorial: Placed 12th at Division 1 state on balance beam (9.033). Also took 22nd in vaulting (8.750).

Amelia McDermott, sr., Sun Prairie: Has scored 8.9 in vaulting and 34.275 in all-around so far this year.

Andrea O’Connell, jr., Mount Horeb: Was Division 2 state runner-up in all-around, scoring 37.300 points. Took second in floor exercise (9.483) and second on uneven bars (9.150), tied for second in vaulting (9.467) and finished fifth on balance beam (9.2),

Grace O’Neil, jr., Mount Horeb: Took 14th at Division 2 state on uneven bars (8.217). Has scored 8.95 points in the event this year. Also has a 9.125 on balance beam and 34.775 in all-around (ranked fifth in Division 2).

Olivia Rebout, so., Janesville Craig: Ranks fourth in Division 1 with an all-around score of 35.5 points. Has scored 9.0 in vaulting and bars and 8.825 on beam this season.

Lorisa Shatrawka, so., River Valley/Barneveld: Took third in Division 2 state all-around (36.550), winning the individual title on balance beam (9.567), taking third in floor exercise (9.400), seventh on uneven bars (8.417) and ninth in vaulting (9.167).

Sydney Stoenner, so., Mount Horeb: Has scored 9.125 points in the vault and 8.85 on bars this year, along with 34.8 in the all-around (ranking fourth in Division 2).

Elisa Weier, sr., Mount Horeb: Finished 10th in Division 2 state all-around (35.267) and was 10th in Division 2 state meet in floor exercise (9.267).

Lexie Weier, so., Mount Horeb: Finished 15th at Division 2 state in floor exercise (9.117).

THINGS TO WATCH

Mount Horeb’s power: Veteran coach Martha Faust and the Vikings have an exceptionally deep and strong team this year, and have recorded the top team score of any team in the state this season, regardless of class (142.375 points). With junior Drea O’Connell a threat to challenge for first place in all four events and all-around, and a steady crew adding points in every event, the Vikings appear certain to battle for what would be a sixth WIAA Division 2 title.

Big Eight battle: No Big Eight Conference coach could agree to a favorite in the league race. When asked to pick three favorites, the coaches mentioned six of the league’s eight programs. Sun Prairie came out as the favorite, followed by a Middleton team that coach Kari Steck said has “depth that MHS or the conference hasn’t seen in years.” Madison Memorial and Janesville Craig are expected to battle for third place, followed by a very young Verona/Madison Edgewood program and Madison West.

Badger Conference outlook: Mount Horeb is the odds-on favorite in the conference, with an on-the-rise Milton/Edgerton crew expected to battle Waunakee/DeForest for the No. 2 spot and Watertown shooting for a top-five spot.

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