THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 43rd Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Gymnastics State Championships will take place Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. The individual championships will begin Friday at 5:40 p.m. The team competition will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday. Ticket prices for the championships are $6 per session and are available at the door.
ON THE AIR: The gymnastics State Championships highlight show will be aired on FS Wisconsin. For dates and times of the program and all WIAA programming on FS Wisconsin, please check local listings or visit the WIAA Media Center website for the most current schedule.
CHAMPIONSHIPS FORMAT: Ten teams will compete for the Division 1 and Division 2 team titles. The top two teams from each of the five sectionals in each division qualify for the meet. The top five individuals in each event and the top five all-arounds at each sectional qualify for the State Individual Championships.
COMPETING TEAMS: There are 10 teams that compete for the team State championship in both divisions. The teams qualifying in Division 1, with the number of times the programs have qualified for the team competition in parentheses, are Arrowhead (8), Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot Union (5), Chippewa Falls (2), Eau Claire Memorial/North (9), Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall (6), Grafton/Cedarburg (2), Homestead (21), Middleton (17), Verona/Edgewood (7) and West Bend West (4). The 10 teams competing in Division 2 are Antigo (10), Ashland (13), Mount Horeb (26), Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster (4), Rice Lake/Cumberland (8), River Falls (23), River Valley (5), Waterford (12), Westby/Bangor (1) and Whitefish Bay (18). There were 78 teams in the Tournament Series this year, including 40 in Division 1 and 38 in Division 2.
TEAM TOURNAMENT HISTORY: The WIAA has sponsored the State Gymnastics Championships since 1971. The event featured one division from 1971 through 1977. The State tournament series competition was divided into two divisions in 1978. Waukesha West/North/ South has won the most team championships with seven. Brookfield Central, De Pere, River Falls and Whitefish Bay, which doesn’t include two with Shorewood as a co-op, are tied for the second most with five. Mount Horeb, Nicolet and Southwestern/Cuba City have won four titles,
LAST YEAR: The Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/ Whitnall co-op won the Division 1 team championship for the second straight season with a score of 147.648. The Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot co-op placed runner-up for the second year in a row as well with a score of 145.116. Individually, Bailey Fitzpatrick of the Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot co-op won the all-around competition with a score of 37.35. She also was the champion on the uneven bars with a score of 9.53. Renae Weaver of Grafton/Cedarburg won the vault with a score of 9.60. Sammie Olson of Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall and Molly Benavides of Burlington/ Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot shared the title in the balance beam competition with scores of 9.33. Jessica Krause of Arrowhead won the floor exercise for the second consecutive year, scoring a 9.40 in the routine. In Division 2, Whitefish Bay won its third championship in the last four seasons and its fifth overall with a score of 141.351. The Blue Dukes have won an additional two titles in a co-op with Shorewood. River Falls finished runner-up by an eyelash with a score of 141.183. Individually, Riley Claude of River Falls won the all-around competition and the uneven bars with scores of 37.067 and 9.27, respectively. Maggie Anderson of Whitefish Bay claimed the vaulting title with a score of 9.47, and Haley Gawronski of Baraboo won her second straight floor exercise championship with a 9.483. Lauren Faust of Mount Horeb performed a championship routine on the balance beam with a score of 9.017.
RETURNING CHAMPIONS: Four events in Division 1 will feature former champions. Junior Jessica Krause of Arrowhead is the returning two-time champion in the floor exercise. She attempts to become just the fourth gymnast to win three titles in the floor exercise. Sophomore Bailey Fitzpatrick of Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot returns as the all-around champion in 2012. She is expected to be among the leading contenders again this season. In addition, she has again qualified in the uneven bars where she achieved State glory last season by winning the event. She unseated two-time champion Sydney Stiener to obtain the crown. Sophomore Molly Benavides of Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot was a co-champion on the balance beam a year ago, sharing the title with senior Sammie Olson of Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall. She returns for another attempt at the title. In Division 2, three former event champions are back to compete for additional titles. Senior Riley Claude of River Falls is the reigning champion in both the all-around and uneven bars. She has qualified in both competitions to defend her crowns. Sophomore Lauren Faust of Mount Horeb is back to defend the championship she won last season on the balance beam, hoping to become the first gymnast in Division 2 to win back-to-back titles in the event.
NEED THE QUALIFIERS?: All rosters of qualifying teams are available on the WIAA website. Additional information about the State Meet and the Tournament Series, access the gymnastic homepage and select the Tournament Information option in the left column.
NEED RESULTS?: The quickest way to attain results will be to access the Tournament Information section from the gymnastics homepage on the WIAA website.
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