WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Hillsboro senior Michaela Bach carved out a memorable four-year career as a member of the Viroqua/Cashton/Hillsboro/North Crawford gymnastics team.
Bach put the finishing touches on a brilliant run at the WIAA Division 2 Team State Gymnastics Championships last weekend.
Friday evening Bach helped the Blackhawks finished sixth out of 10 teams in the D2 team state competition with a combined score of 134.1167.
In Friday’s team competition Bach led the team in both vault (9.10) and beam (8.933). She finished second on the team behind junior teammate Jozie McClelland on the floor (8.550) and third on the bars (8.117).
Top-ranked Mount Horeb dominated the competition as expected, winning the team title with a 141.6833 score to hold off runner-up Whitefish Bay (140.95).
“State is a hard place to peak at,” said Viroqua co-op head coach Darcy McClelland. “It is very overwhelming with all the loud noise and hoopla. I feel that the girls performed better this year than the previous year. Deep down I was hoping for a little better out come, but I know the girls gave it all they had for that day. And I am very proud of this very talented team. Michaela will be dearly missed and not easy to replace next season.”
In Saturday’s D2 individual competition Bach tied for ninth on the balance beam with a score of 8.483 and tied for 13th in the all-around (34.650). She also finished 12th on the vault (9.067), tied for 13th on the floor exercise (9.20) and 17th on the uneven bars (7.90).
“Even though she did not medal Michaela had one of her best performances at the state level,” said McClelland. “She received her best two scores on vault during the team and individual scoring a 9.1 and a 9.067 and also her and best score on floor during the individual competition scoring a 9.2.
“Michaela is a very special young lady. She is one of Viroqua’s most graceful and prettiest gymnasts. She is always striving to do her best and works hard and well under pressure. She is a very talented three-sport athlete and has qualified for state in the individual competition all four of years here in Viroqua. She also helped her team qualify for team state three years. That shows how successful of a gymnasts she has been.”
A year ago Bach helped the Blackhawks finish eighth as a team. The Viroqua co-op placed ninth as a team in 2012 when Bach was a freshman.
A year ago as a junior, Bach tied for 19th on the floor (8.733) and the vault (8.633), placed 23rd on the bars (7.917) and placed 18th out of 25 competitors in the all-around with a combined score of 33.633 at individual state.
As a sophomore Bach finished 11th on the uneven bars (7.650) and 14th in the all-around (34.017).
“As Michaela grew and developed into beautiful young lady she was able to improve her skills at a higher level by keeping her body strong,” said McClelland. “As young ladies grow it is hard for gymnasts to keep their high level skills and even more difficult to improve on higher level skills. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work as an athlete to keep up with your growing body. And it is important that they eat right and stay in the weight room and keep physically fit. And she was able to do that and do it right.
“We here at Viroqua feel very fortunate and blessed that Michaela was able to be part of our team and family for her very special four years of her gymnastics career.”
McClelland wins individual title on floor
One of Bach’s teammates experienced the thrill of a lifetime winning an individual state title on Saturday.
Junior Jozie McClelland won the gold medal in the D2 floor exercise with a score of 9.533. She also finished eighth in the all-around (35.150), fifth on the bars (8.583), and ninth on the vault (9.133) and the beam (8.483).
“As a coach and mom, I and her teammates are very proud of Jozie,” said McClelland. “This is not an easy task to win a state championship. It takes a lot of determination and a lot of will to never give up and keep working hard. She and I know she would not be there without the support of all her teammates.”
Sophomore Faith Gillen tied for 13th on the beam (8.10), placed 20th in the all-around (33.367) and 23rd on the bars (7.650).
Junior Josie Wiltrout finished 18th on the vault (8.783).