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Monday, March 2, 2015

State Gymnastics Championships Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS:  The 45th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Gymnastics State Championships will take place Friday and Saturday, March 6-7, at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. The team championships will begin Friday at 2 p.m. The individual competition will begin at 11:10 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 on a  date and time in April to be determined. For dates and times of 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 (10), Brookfield East/Central (1) Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall (8), Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Luther/Cochrane-Fountain City/Melrose-Mindoro/Whitehall (1), Grafton/Cedarburg (3), Madison Memorial (18), Middleton (19), Mukwonago/East Troy/Kettle Moraine (1)  Sheboygan South/North (11) and Stevens Point (20). The 10 teams competing in Division 2 are Antigo (12), Ashland/Mellen (1), Mount Horeb (28), Nicolet (17) Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster (6), Reedsburg (4), Rice Lake/Cumberland (10), River Falls (25), Viroqua/Cashton/Hillsboro/North Crawford (3) and Whitefish Bay (20). There were 78 teams in the Tournament Series this year, including 39 in Division 1 and 39 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. River Falls and Whitefish Bay, which doesn’t include two titles with Shorewood as a co-op, are next in the gold trophy standings with six. Brookfield Central and De Pere are tied for the second most with five. The Franklin/Muskego/ Oak Creek/Whitnall co-op, as well as 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 fourth straight season with a score of 147.285. The Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot co-op placed runner-up for the fourth year in a row as well with a score of 147.233. Individually, Jorin Fredman of Arrowhead won the all-around competition with a score of 38.217. Molly Benavides of Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot won the vault for the second straight year by earning a score of 9.617 and added her second title on the balance beam with the same score of 9.617. Jenna Fitzpatrick of Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot won the uneven bars with a score of 9.633. Sam Balcerak of Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall captured the floor exercise championship with score of 9.567. In Division 2, Whitefish Bay won its sixth team championship with a score of 144.5. Mount Horeb was runner-up for the second straight season, finishing with a score of 141.582. Individually, Lily Hayes of Whitefish Bay won both the all-around competition and the uneven bars. She scored a 37.301 in the all-around and a 9.567 on the bars. Jessee Lerud of Grantsburg/Luck/Unity claimed the title on the balance beam with a score of 9.367. Aly Yurkowitz of Whitefish Bay won floor exercise as a freshman with a score of 9.417. Alex Van Gilder of Rice Lake/Cumberland won the vault competition with a score of  9.367.

RETURNING CHAMPIONS:  Each one of the events in Division 1 will feature at least one former champion returning to challenge for another crown. Senior Jorin Fredman is the defending champion in the all-around competition, and the title in 2012 and 2013 belonged to senior Bailey Fitzpatrick of Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/ Wilmot. The two former champions will compete for possession of the title this year. Fitzpatrick was also the champion in the uneven parallel bars in 2012 and 2013, but fell to fourth in the event last season. She is entered in the event again this year for another attempt for a third title. Senior Molly Benavides of Burlington/Badger/CatholicCentral/Union Grove/ Wilmot is the returning champion on the balance beam. She is entered in the event with sights on her third crown, having also won the title in 2012. Benavides is also a two-time champion on the vault, winning back-to-back titles in 2013 and again last year. She has also qualified in the floor exercise where she is looking to regain the form that won her the title in 2013. The defending champion in the floor exercise is junior Sam Balcerak of Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall. She has also qualified again to produce a highly competitive field in the event. In Division 2, sophomore Aly Yurkowitz of Whitefish Bay won the floor exercise a year ago and returns with sights on a second championship in the event. However, senior Lauren Faust of Mount Horeb was a co-champion in the event two years ago and will attempt to regain the title this season. She is also attempting to return to the form that won her the State title on the balance beam in 2012. She’ll need to contend with junior Jessee Lerud of Grantsburg/Luck/Unity who is the defending champion in the event. The vault competition will also return its defending champion, senior Alex Van Gilder of Rice Lake/Cumberland.
 
FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Gymnastics Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaawigym. Also follow daily recaps on Facebook.

NEED RESULTS?:  The quickest way to attain results will be to access the Tournament Information section from the gymnastics homepage on the WIAA website.

#  WIAA  #

Compiled by WIAA Communications

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