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All-area gymnastics: Do-it-all Drea O'Connell of state champion Mount Horeb named Athlete of the Year

All-area gymnastics: Do-it-all Drea O'Connell of state champion Mount Horeb named Athlete of the Year

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To be sure, many young women played key roles in carrying the Mount Horeb gymnastics team to the school’s sixth WIAA Division 2 state team championship.

But one of the Vikings stood head and shoulders above the others. Not only on her team, but also around the area — and often, the state.

Mount Horeb junior Drea O'Connell won two individual events, took second and third in the others and placed second in the all-around during the individual portion of the state meet.

One day earlier, in the team meet, she led the Vikings — a team with only one senior — past favored Whitefish Bay to avenge a runner-up finish in 2019. The win broke a string of four consecutive titles for the Blue Dukes.

O’Connell led the Wisconsin State Journal’s All-Area team in the all-around and two individual events. As a result, she has been named the State Journal’s 2019-2020 All-Area Gymnast of the Year.

O’Connell won the individual balance beam competition (9.333 points) and floor exercise (9.567), took second on bars (9.033) and third in vaulting (9.317) for an all-around score of 37.25 points, trailing defending champ Addie Gallun, a junior from Whitefish Bay who scored 37.55.

“It was really close. It was neck-and-neck the whole day,” Mount Horeb coach Martha Koller Faust said of the O’Connell-vs.-Gallun competition. “Andrea had her eye on (the all-around title), too. But it was just out of reach.”

“We have a lot of good girls and this year we put in a lot of new skills,” O’Connell said during the regular-season Mount Horeb Invitational. “Everybody is really doing well and sticking their routines. It’s been a great season so far.

“We think that, yes, it’s an individual sport, but we are also a team and we have to work together as a team and believe in each other.”

Also considered for the award were River Valley/Barneveld sophomore Lorisa Shatrawka, Madison Memorial senior Tea Hellen and Janesville Craig sophomore Olivia Rebout.

Coach of the Year: Koller Faust has developed much more talent on the Vikings’ roster than O’Connell. The team’s lone senior, Elisa Weier, was joined by juniors O’Connell and Grace O’Neil and sophomores Lexie Weier and Sydney Stoenner to win the Division 2 title with the second-best score recorded in either division.

As a result, Koller Faust has been named the All-Area Coach of the Year. Also considered for the award were Madison Memorial coach Michele Fuller and Milton/Edgerton coach Kristine Farnsworth.

WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL

2019-2020 ALL-AREA GYMNASTICS TEAM

VAULTING

First team: Olivia Rebout, so., Janesville Craig: Placed fifth at Division 1 state, scoring 9.35. Won Big Eight Conference title (9.4).

Second team: Drea O’Connell, jr., Mount Horeb: Took third at Division 2 state, scoring 9.317.

Honorable mention: Lorisa Shatrawka, so., River Valley/Barneveld (Southwest Wisconsin Conference champ); Hannah Dunk, fr., Milton/Edgerton (Badger Conference champion); Hailey Dohnal, sr., Verona/Madison Edgewood; Tea Hellen, sr., Madison Memorial; Miah Lemanski, sr., Dodgeville/Mineral Point; Martha Guelker, fr., Sun Prairie; Sydney Stoenner, so., Mount Horeb; Taylor Engelkes, jr., Middleton; Elle Crowley, fr., Verona/Madison Edgewood; Lexie Weier, so., Mount Horeb; Grace O’Neil, jr., Mount Horeb; Meghan Hurtgen, so., Watertown.

UNEVEN BARS

First team: Drea O’Connell, jr., Mount Horeb: Finished second at Division 2 state with a score of 9.033. Also won the Badger Conference title (9.2).

Second team: Olivia Rebout, so., Janesville Craig: Took 13th at D1 state (8.9). Won Big Eight title (9.175).

Honorable mention: Lorisa Shatrawka, so., River Valley/Barneveld; Thea Bender, so., Madison East/La Follette; Sophie O’Keefe, so., Madison Memorial; Meghan Hurtgen, so., Watertown; Megg Weiler, so., Middleton; Alyssa Rios, jr., Madison Memorial; Grace O’Neil, jr., Mount Horeb; Miah Lemanski, sr., Dodgeville/Mineral Point; Elisa Weier, sr., Mount Horeb; Tessa Bockhop, sr., Dodgeville/Mineral Point (Southwest Wisconsin Conference champ).

BALANCE BEAM

First team: Tea Hellen, sr., Madison Memorial: Tied for sixth at Division 1 state, scoring 9.567. Won the Big Eight championship (9.15).

Second team: Drea O’Connell, jr., Mount Horeb: Won the Division 2 state championship (9.333) and the Badger Conference title (9.675).

Honorable mention: Ireland Olstad, so., Milton/Edgerton; Hailey Dohnal, Verona/Madison Edgewood; Olivia Rebout, Janesville Craig; Meghan Hurtgen, Watertown; Sarah Huxtable, Madison West; Miah Lemanski, sr., Dodgeville/Mineral Point; Sydney Thompson, Waunakee/DeForest; Lexie Weier, so., Mount Horeb; Heidi Kuhnau, jr., Sauk Prairie; Lorisa Shatrawka, so., River Valley/Barneveld (Southwest Wisconsin Conference champ).

FLOOR EXERCISE

First team: Drea O’Connell, jr., Mount Horeb: Won the Division 2 championship, scoring 9.567 points — the best score in either division. Also won the Badger Conference meet (9.525).

Second team: Lorisa Shatrawka, so., River Valley/Barneveld: Took second in D2, scoring 9.467. Won the Southwest Wisconsin Conference title (9.4).

Honorable mention: Sarah Hershberger, so., Madison Memorial; Hailey Dohnal, sr., Verona/Madison Edgewood; Taylor Engelkes, jr., Middleton (Big Eight champion); Elisa Weier, sr., Mount Horeb; Kate Yehle, jr., Madison Memorial; Meghan Hurtgen, so., Watertown.

ALL-AROUND

First team: Drea O’Connell, jr., Mount Horeb: Finished a close second behind Whitefish Bay’s Addie Gallun in the Division 2 meet, scoring 37.250 points, after leading the Vikings to the team title. Won the Badger Conference meet (37.75).

Second team: Lorisa Shatrawka, so., River Valley/Barneveld: Took fifth in D2 with a 35.933 score. Won the Southwest Wisconsin Conference title (37.375).

Honorable mention: Olivia Rebout, so., Janesville Craig (Big Eight champion); Taylor Engelkes, jr., Middleton; Hailey Dohnal, sr., Verona/Madison Edgewood; Ella Crowley, fr., Verona/Madison Edgewood; Tea Hellen, sr., Madison Memorial; Meghan Hurtgen, so., Watertown; Miah Lemanski, sr., Dodgeville/Mineral Point; Grace O’Neil, jr., Mount Horeb; Lexie Weier, so., Mount Horeb; Tessa Bockhop, sr., Dodgeville/Mineral Point.

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