WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster gymnastics team closed out the season at the WIAA State Championships over the weekend.
The Hillmen posted a score of 126.65 to finish ninth of 10 teams in Friday’s Division 2 Team State Championships.
A day later, Belmont junior Lizzy Haag, Lancaster sophomore Brooklyn VanNatta and Platteville freshman Hailey Jentz finished their seasons in Saturday’s D2 Individual State Championships.
“This year the WIAA State meet had a new format,” said Hillmen head coach Jessica Hill. “Warmups were done in a separate gym during the rotation before the gymnasts would compete. The new format allowed increased recognition of the teams competing during march-in, better visibility of the competition during the rotations and improved seating for the audience.”
Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster, which finished third in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference and second in the WIAA D2 Platteville sectional, opened the team state competition Friday evening on the balance beam.
“Being aggressive is key on the beam if you are going to stay on,” said Hill. “We lacked confidence, didn’t attack, and had many falls. At that point we had a bye so the team put their first event behind them and focused on our second event.”
VanNatta and Platteville sophomore Katrina Stastny posted team-best scores of 7.283, while Lancaster senior Lindsey Wolf posted a score of 7.15.
Up next, P/B/L performed on the floor.
“It is the event we feel the most comfortable and it showed in the routines,” said coach Hill. “Hailey Doyle and Brooklyn had great performances and received personal-best scores. The highlight of the event was when Lindsey Wolf was competing. She had excellent tumbling skills and is a great dancer. She captured everyone’s attention in the gym and the thunderous cheering by everyone made her last routine as a senior incredibly special.
VanNatta posted a team-best 8.95. Wolf, a senior from Lancaster, scored an 8.8 and Doyle, a sophomore from Platteville, scored a personal-best 8.55. Stastny (8.433) and Jentz (7.8) routed out the P/B/L score with solid routines.
“Vault was our third event,” said Hill. “As a team we were solid. The highlight was Brooklyn’s Tsuk that scored an 8.767. Bars was our final event. Our skills and execution continue to improve. Kat and Lizzy’s both scored in the 8s to end our competition. I left the competition proud of what the team delivered.”
Haag posted a team-best 8.1 on the bars, with Stastny close behind at 8.033.
“We work all year for the opportunity to perform at state,” said Hill. “Being there was everything the team hoped for. We will learn from the experience and work to come back stronger next year.”
Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster will return five of its six varsity gymnasts next season. Wolf is the lone senior.
In Saturday’s individual state championship, VanNatta was up first on the vault. She posted an average score of 8.267 to tie for 23rd place out of 26 gymnasts in the event.
“Brooklyn does a difficult vault and stood it up,” said Hill.
Haag was in the very next rotation on the uneven bars. She posted a score of 7.867 to tie for 22nd in her second appearance in the WIAA individual state champions on bars. She was also an individual state qualifier two years ago as a freshman.
“Lizzy had a nice swinging routine and made all her difficult skills,” said Hill.
Jentz was P/B/L’s final competitor on the balance beam. Jentz, who posted a 5.567 a day earlier on the beam in the team competition, scored a 8.033 in Saturday’s individual championships to placed 23rd.
“Hailey’s routine was much improved over the day before,” added Hill. “This was a great experience that motivates the team to continue to be better.”
WIAA Division 2 Team State Championships
(from Friday, March 1 @ Wisconsin Rapids)
Team scores — 1.Whitefish Bay 145.2, 2.Mount Horeb 141.083, 3.West Salem Co-op 139.4, 4.Elkhorn 139.233, 5.River Falls 136.3233, 6.Ashland 134.3667, 7.Dodgeville/Mineral Point 133.75, 8.Waupun 133.1167, 9.Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster 126.65, 10.Medford 93.7667.
Balance beam — Brooklyn VanNatta 7.283, Katrina Stastny 7.283, Lindsey Wolf 7.15, Hailey Doyle 6.533, Hailey Jentz 5.567. Floor exercise — VanNatta 8.95, Wolf 8.8, Doyle 8.55, Stastny 8.433, Jentz 7.8. Vault — VanNatta 8.767, Ststny 8.167, Haag 8.0, Jentz 7.933, Wolf 7.8. Uneven bars — Lizzy Haag 8.1, Stastny 8.033, Jentz 7.4, VanNatta 7.267, Wolf 6.917.
WIAA Division 2 Ind. State Championships
(from Satuday, March 2 @ Wisconsin Rapids)
individual state qualifiers
Vault — 23(tie).Brooklyn VanNatta 8.267. Uneven bars — 22(tie).Lizzy Haag 7.867. Balance beam — 23.Hailey Jentz 8.033.