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Hillmen gymnasts finish second at Southwestern/Cuba City Invite
pla gym phillips
Sophomore Jenna Phillips performs a front walkover during her beam routine at Saturdays Southwestern/Cuba City Invitational. Phillips placed eighth in the event and fifth in the all-around.

     HAZEL GREEN — A strong team effort helped the Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster gymnastics team finish second out of five teams at Saturday’s Southwestern/Cuba City Invitational.
     Led by sophomores Jenna Phillips and Alyssa Bainbridge the Hillmen scored 123.825 to edge out the host Wildcats (122.925) for the runner-up spot. Mount Horeb dominated the competition with a magnificent 142.075 team score.
     “We started on vault and got the scores we were expecting,” said Hillmen head coach Jessica Hill.
Bainbridge showed the most improvement placing eight with a score of 8.20, while senior Danielle Jentz continued to be the team’s strongest vaulter with a fifth-place (8.40) finish.
     Next up for the Hillmen were the bars.
     “As a team we had our best bar scores of the season, but we still need to continue to improve,” said Hill.
     Phillips posted a 7.70 to place seventh in the event, P/B/L’s only top-10 finish on the bars.
     The Platteville co-op’s third rotation was on the balance beam, which is usually the team’s strongest event.
     “We had a couple of falls, but our biggest point loss on this event came with Regan Geigle and Elissa Bahr, who had prior commitments, missing the meet.
     Freshman Grace Hammermeister (7th, 7.95), Phillips (8th, 7.70) and Bainbridge (10th, 7.65) all finished in the top 10 on the beam.
     Hammermeister then placed fourth on the floor (8.45) to lead the Hillmen in P/B/L’s final rotation,
     “We continue to improve as a team on this floor, but still have not reached our potential with all of the gymnasts having their best routines on the same night. The good thing is that always give me the ability to push for better.”
     Phillips finished fifth overall in the all-around with a combined score of 31.725, while Bainbridge finished sixth at 31.175. Hammermeister was eighth in the all-around at 30.45.
     The Platteville co-op’s SWC dual at Southwestern/Cuba City was postponed Monday night due to extreme cold and poor travel conditions, and will be made up at a later date.
     The Hillmen will return to action at Saturday’s River Valley Invitational beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Southwestern/Cuba City Invitational
(from Saturday, Jan. 25 @ Hazel Green)
Team Scores — 1.Mount Horeb 142.075,  2.Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster 123.825, 3.Southwestern/Cuba City 122.925, 4.Whitewater 103.15, 5.Geneseo (Ill.) 30.775.

Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster’s top finishers
All-around — 5.Jenna Phillips 31.725, 6.Alyssa Bainbridge 31.175, 8.Grace Hammermeister 30.45, 10.Danielle Jentz 30.025.
Vault — 5.Jentz 8.40, 8.Bainbridge 8.20, 12.Phillips 8.05, 14.Hammermeister 7.90, 21.Marino 6.70. Uneven Bars — 7.Phillips 7.70, 11.Jentz 7.25, 12.Bainbridge 7.15, 15.Marino 6.60, 16.Hammermeister 6.15. Balance Beam — 7.Hammermeister 7.95, 8.Phillips 7.70, 10.Bainbridge 7.65, 14.Jentz 6.90, 18.Marino 6.175. Floor Exercise — 4.Hammermeister 8.45, 8.Phillips 8.275, 9.Bainbrdige 8.175, 15.Jentz 7.475, 16.Marino 7.425.