WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster gymnastics team wrapped up another successful season over the weekend at the WIAA Division 2 State Championships.
The Hillmen, who were making their seventh consecutive appearance at team state, struggled during their rotation on the uneven bars and finished ninth out of 10 teams at Friday’s Team State Championships with a team score of 126.9, ahead of Southwest Wisconsin Conference foe Dodgeville/Mineral Point (124.8).
Whitefish Bay dethroned defending champion Mount Horeb to reclaim the D2 team title with a score of 140.5667. It was Whitefish Bay’s eighth state title. River Falls, the 2013 champion, finished second with a score of 135.8833. Top-ranked Mount Horeb finished third at 135.5167.
“The scoring at state is often a bit tougher but our overall performance as a team is what lead to the lower score,” said Hillmen head coach Jessica Hill. “We had some excellent routines and we had other routines where we struggled.”
According to Hill, junior Grace Hammermeister (8.967), senior Alyssa Bainbridge (7.9) and junior Brooke Pagliaro (7.5) had some of their best routines of the season on bars. Hammermeister (8.433, Bainbridge (8.167) and junior Maddie Rand (8.133) led the way on vault. Sophomore Allison Stader (7.933) and Pagliaro (7.833) performed higher level vaults and had falls.
“I knew the falls were a possibility but it was a risk I was willing to take,” said Hill.
Stader bounced back with her best bar routine of the year, posting a team-best score of 7.6. Junior Mikayla Vincent also had one of her better scores of the season in the bars rotation (6.983), but Hammermeister and Bainbridge struggled. Hammermeister (8.967), Bainbridge (7.9) bounced back to lead the way with no-fall routines on the balance beam.
Saturday afternoon, Hammermeister and Bainbridge returned to action at the WIAA Individual State Championships.
Hammermeister placed fourth on the floor (9.283), 14th on the balance beam (8.267) and 23rd in the all-around (31.9). She is a three-year individual state qualifier.
“Grace had an excellent floor routine,” said Hill. “I am very proud of her performance. The level of routines of gymnasts who medal is outstanding. Although the goal is to win, her fourth place finish does not diminish her accomplishments this season. Grace had an outstanding beam routine on team day but in individual competition she had a fall. Even with the rest of her routine performed well a fall quickly took her out of the medals.”
Bainbridge concluded her prep career with a 26th place finish on the uneven bars (5.33).
“At sectionals where the goal is to qualify as a team and an individual, Alyssa swung a routine removing some of the skills with more risk,” said Hill. “She added those more difficult skills to her bar routine at state. During her routine she fell on one of those skills leading to a lower score. With the score not affecting the team score, she had nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding the skills.
“The state meet went well for Alyssa. On team day she had three outstanding events. Her floor, beam and vault were some of her best performances as a high school gymnast. We will miss her gymnastic ability as well as her leadership next season.”
WIAA Division 2 Team State Championships
(from Friday, March 4 @ Wisconsin Rapids)
Team scores — 1.Whitefish Bay 140.5667, 2.River Falls 135.8833, 3.Mount Horeb 135.5167, 4.Viroqua/Cashton/North Crawford 133.45, 6.Grantsburg/Luck/Unity 132.3833, 7.Waupun 130.1667, 8.Rice Lake/Cumberland 127.1167, 9.Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster 126.9, 10.Dodgeville/Mineral Pont 124.8.
Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster’s other sectional results
Balance Beam — Grace Hammermeister 8.967, Alyssa Bainbridge 7.9, Maddie Rand 7.683, Allison Stader 7.65, Brooke Pagliaro 7.5. Floor Exercise — Hammermeister 9.35, Bainbridge 8.517, Pagliaro 7.667, Stader 7.633, Lindsey Wolf 6.05. Uneven bars — Stader 7.6, Rand 7.267, Hammermeister 7.017, Mikayla Vincent 6.983, Bainbridge 6.767. Vault — Hammermeister 8.433, Bainbridge 8.167, Rand 8.133, Stader 7.933, Pagliaro 7.833.
WIAA Division 2 Individual State Championships
(from Saturday, March 5 @ Wisc. Rapids)
Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster’s individual state qualifiers
All-around — 23.Grace Hammermeister 31.9.
Balance Beam — 14.Hammermeister 8.267.
Floor Exercise — 4.Hammermeister 9.283.
Uneven bars — 26.Alyssa Bainbridge 5.33.