MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM CO-GAME OF THE WEEK (Feb. 25–March 3)
WIAA GYMNASTICS: WIAA Division 2 Platteville Sectional
The Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster gymnastics team is headed back to the WIAA Team State Championships.
The Hillmen posted a season-high score of 131.975 to place second at Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 Platteville Sectional, ahead of SWC rival Dodgeville/Mineral Point, to earn one of the two berths to the 50th WIAA Team State Championships, that will be held Friday at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School beginning at 1 p.m.
It is P/B/L’s third state trip to the WIAA Team State Championships and 10th time in the past 11 years under head coach Jessica Hill.
Lancaster junior Brooklyn VanNatta earned a spot in the WIAA D2 individual state championships, that will be held, with top-5 sectional finishes in the balance beam, floor exercise, vault and all-around.
Platteville freshman Brooke VonGlahn tied for third on the uneven bars to earn her first berth in the individual state tournament.
“It is exciting to be heading back to the state tournament,” said coach Hill. “The gymnasts worked hard all season and it paid off at the sectional meet. At the start of every season it is important to look at where we want to be, and not let where we are prevent us from striving to achieve our goal. There is a great coaching staff and parent support system that contributes to the success of the program.”
The Platteville co-op’s season-best performance began on the vault. Led by VanNatta’s 8.45 score on the vault, which was good for a fifth-place tie in the event, the Hillmen got off to a decent start.
“Brooklyn had a fantastic vault,” said Hill. “She is a powerful vaulter with a lot of height when she vaults. The remaining vaults were solid, but not what I had hoped for. It was all uphill from there.”
In their second rotation on the uneven bars, the Hillmen turned in their best performances of the year and it was reflected in the scores.
VonGlahn led the team with an 8.6, which was good for third place on the bars.
“In addition to her improved difficulty level, her form has continually improved throughout the season,” said Hill. “Hard work has allowed her weakest event, at the beginning of the season, to become one of her strengths.”
Belmont senior Lizzy Haag, a two-time individual state qualifier on the bars, was in a state qualifying position for a large portion of the meet and was knocked out late in the meet, finishing tied for sixth with a 8.325.
Freshman Mackenzie Champion showed the most improvement on bars throughout the season and she was rewarded for her hard work with a great score of 8.175, good for eighth place.
Balance beam was up next for the Hillmen.
“Beam is always a bit nerve racking,” said Hill. “There were some balance errors that occurred. The team fought hard to stay on the beam and get every tenth.”
VanNatta had a beautiful routine and placed fourth with an 8.35 score allowing her to quality as an individual in the event. Champion finished seventh with an 8.125 and sophomore Hailey Jentz tied for eighth at 8.05..
Following beam, the Hillmen were leading SWC rival Dodgeville/Mineral Point by 0.3 for second place heading into their favorite event, the floor exercise.
Past PBL gymnast and dancer Lindsey Wolf choreographed the routines and they fit each gymnast’s skills and personality.
Jentz was the first participant and had a excellent routine with an 8.4 (13th place), putting the Hillmen in a great position with stronger routines to come.
Junior Hailey Doyle was second and had superbly executed jumps on her way to a score of 7.95 (19th place).
VanNatta was the team’s third competitor and she once again shined. Her score of 8.975 earned her a third-place finish and a trip to individual state in a third event. VanNatta high-level performances on every event also qualified her for the all-around, as she placed fifth overall with a combined score of 33.60 on the four events.
Junior Katrina Stastny and VonGlahn were the remaining floor competitors. Stastny had one of her best routines of the season, posting a 8.65, followed by VonGlahn’s 8.65, which tied the teammates for eighth place.
“For the team as a whole, this season was a great life lesson about trying again if you are not successful the first time,” added Hill.
The Platteville co-op will begin the D2 Team State competition Friday at 1 p.m. The D2 individual state championships will begin Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
WIAA Division 2 Platteville Sectional
(from Saturday, Feb. 29 @ Platteville)
Team scores — 1.Sparta 134.525, 2.Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster 131.975, 3.Dodgeville/Mineral Point 130.325, 4.Viroqua 118.575, 5.Southwestern Co-op 117.775, 6.Prairie du Chien /Fennimore 112.8, 7.Tomah 110.225, 8.Westby 92.025.
Pla./Bel./Lan. individual results
All-around — 5.Brooklyn VanNatta 33.60, 8.Brooke VonGlahn 32.625, 13.Katrina Stastny 31.15.Vault — 5(tie).VanNatta 8.45, 11(tie).Hailey Jentz 8.0, 17(tie).Mackenzie Champion 7.7, 26.Stastny7.55, 28(tie).VonGlahn 7.45. Uneven bars — 3.VonGlahn 8.6, 6(tie).Lizzy Haag 8.325, 8.Champion 8.175, 9(tie).Stastny 8.05, 13.VanNatta 7.825. Balance Beam — 4.VanNatta 8.35, 7.Mackenzie Champion 8.125, 8(tie).Hailey Jentz 8.05, 10(tie).VonGlahn 7.925, 18.Stastny 6.9. Floor exercise — 3.VanNatta 8.975, 8(tie).Stastny 8.65, 8(tie).VonGlahn 8.65, 13.Jentz 8.4, 19.Hailey Doyle 7.95.