WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The 2013–14 Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster gymnastics team made program history qualifying for the WIAA Division 2 Team State Championships for a fifth straight year.
Friday night at Wisconsin Rapids’ Lincoln Fieldhouse the underclassmen-dominated Hillmen and gained valuable experience that will serve the program going forward.
The Platteville tri-op placed 10th out of 10 teams with a score of 125.517, but a number of Hillmen got their first taste of state tournament competition. Whitefish Bay won the team title with a 144.50 score.
Only senior Danielle Jentz and sophomore Jenna Phillips participated on last year’s team that placed third at state in 2013.
Juniors Regan Geigle and Elissa Bahr, sophomores Alyssa Bainbridge and Marissa Marino, and freshmen Grace Hammermeister, Maddie Rand and Lauren Tucker all made their state debuts for a program once again on the rise.
The Hillmen began the team competition on the uneven bars posting an aggregate 27.267. According to head coach Jessica Hill, nerves definitely played a role in the low score.
Phillips led the way with an average score of 7.617. Bainbridge posted a 6.750.
In their second rotation on the balance beam the calmer Hillmen performed much better posting a 32.0 team score without a single fall.
Phillips scored a season-high score of 8.150, followed by an 8.10 from Hammermeister. Geigle (7.883) and Bainbridge (7.867, also a season-high) posted counting scores as well.
On the floor exercise the Hillmen scored a 33.150, led by Phillips and Hammermeister’s identical 8.750 routines.
In their fourth and final rotation the Hillmen scored a 33.10 on the vault, but couldn’t catch Antigo (126.601) for ninth place.
Hammermiester posted a team-best 8.567 score. Jentz (8.333), Phillips (8.10) and Bainbridge (8.10) all scored above an 8.0.
“This was a great learning experience for a young team that has potential in the future,” said coach Hill.
Jentz and Hammermeister compete in individual state competition
On Saturday Jentz and Hammermeister competed in the state individual championships. The top five finishers in each discipline at sections qualified for the state individual championships.
Jentz capped her fine career tying for 23rd place out of 26 qualifiers on the vault with an average score of 8.40.
Hammermeister tied for 19th out of 26 on the floor exercise with an average score of 8.733.
WIAA Division 2 Team State Championships
(from Friday, March 7 @ Wisconsin Rapids)
Team Scores — 1.Whitefish Bay 144.50, 2.Mount Horeb 141.582, 3.River Falls 138.667, 4.Rice Lake/Cumberland 137.282, 5.Waterford 133.315, 6.Ashland 130.80, 7.River Valley 129.134, 8.Viroqua/Cashton/Hillsboro/North Crawford 129.02, 9.Antigo 126.601, 10.Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster 125.517.
Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster’s team state results
Uneven Bars — Jenna Phillips 7.617, Alyssa Bainbridge 6.75, Danielle Jentz 6.6, Marissa Marino 6.3, Maddie Rand 5.533. Balance Beam — Phillips 8.15, Grace Hammermeister 8.10, Regan Geigle 7.883, Bainbridge 7.867, Lauren Tucker 7.35. Floor Exercise — Hammermeister 8.75, Phillips 8.75, Bainbridge 7.883, Danielle Jentz 7.767, Elissa Bahr 7.533. Vault — Hammermeister 8.567, Jentz 8.333, Phillips 8.10, Bainbridge 8.10, Marino 7.833.
WIAA Div. 2 Individual State Championships
(from Saturday, March 8 @ Wisc. Rapids)
Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster’s individual state qualifiers
Vault — 23(tie).Danielle Jentz 8.40. Floor Exercise — 19(tie).Grace Hammermeister 8.733.