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High school notes: Middleton seeks gymnastics coach after Kari Steck steps down

High school notes: Middleton seeks gymnastics coach after Kari Steck steps down

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Jennah Burkholder, Angie Murphy

Janesville Parker senior Jennah Hartwig, left, congratulates Middleton senior Angie Halbleib after Parker defeated the Cardinals 58-40 in the 1993 WIAA Division 1 state championship girls basketball game at the UW Field House. Burkholder, now Jennah Hartwig, was named coach this week at Parker. Halbleib, now Angie Murphy, is the coach at Big Eight Conference rival Verona. (WSJ photo / Meg Theno)

Kari Steck announced Friday she is stepping down as Middleton gymnastics coach.

Her husband, Cullen Steck, served as an assistant for the team, so the Cardinals will have a new staff this winter.

“Four weeks ago we welcomed our second son, Kaden, into our family,” Kari Steck wrote in an email to Middleton gymnastics families and shared with the State Journal.

“Life as a family of four has been amazing, but exhausting! We’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months discussing how gymnastics would look with our newly expanded family. Ultimately, we have determined that we won't be able to give you and the program the adequate attention and time you deserve.

“This program means the world to us -- and has for the past 11 years. We’ve worked to build the program into not just a team, but a family, and you all deserve the best.”

Steck said she’s met with Middleton athletic director Jamie Sims and “will be working closely with him in the search for a new coaching staff to make this as seamless of a transition as possible.”

Overall, Middleton has made 23 WIAA state appearances as a team in gymnastics, including consecutive appearances from 2012-2019 and from 2007-2010, according to WIAA records.

Janesville Parker’s Jennah Hartwig steps down

Jennah Hartwig recently resigned as the Janesville Parker girls basketball coach for family and career reasons, according to reports, including by WCLO/WJVL radio and the Janesville Gazette.

Hartwig, the former Jennah Burkholder, was named the Vikings’ head coach in 2015, succeeding Tom Klawitter. She had been an assistant on Klawitter’s staff.

As a player, she led Parker to the WIAA Division 1 state title in 1993, defeating Middleton in the final. 

Hartwig was a two-time, first-team Associated Press all-state player in the early 1990s, including being the 1993 AP state player of the year, and played college basketball at the University of Wisconsin.

Her daughter, Julia, is on the women’s basketball team at UW-Green Bay.


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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.

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