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State Gymnastics Championships Preview

Monday, February 28, 2022

State Gymnastics Championships Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS:  The 52nd Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Gymnastics State Championships will take place Friday-Saturday, March 4-5 at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. The Division 2 team and individual championships will begin at 1 p.m. Friday and conclude at approximately 9 p.m. The Division 1 team and individual championships will begin Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and concludes at approximately 6 p.m.

TICKET INFORMATION:  Ticket prices for the State Gymnastics Championships are $9 per day plus online fees, and they are available to be purchased on-line on the WIAA website through GoFan, the WIAA ticketing partner, at:  https://gofan.co/app/school/WIAA2.

COVID PROVISIONS:  Fully vaccinated individuals should consider wearing a mask in areas of high likelihood of transmission. In addition, masks are strongly encouraged for individuals not fully vaccinated.

CHAMPIONSHIPS FORMAT:  The individual championships competition will be conducted concurrently with the team tournament rotation in vaulting, uneven parallel bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Only the four individual events count toward the team standings. The all-around competition is conducted only as an individual event.

HOW THEY QUALIFIED:  There are 10 teams advancing to the State meet in both divisions, representing the top two teams from each of the five sectionals in each division. The top five individuals in each event and the top five all-arounds at each sectional qualify for the State individual championships.

CHAMPIONSHIPS STREAMED LIVE:  All events of the State Gymnastics Championships will be streamed live and can be viewed with a subscription to the NFHS Network. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $10.99 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscription button in the header of the page. Archived streams of the sessions will be available on demand on www.nfhsnetwork.com 72 hours after the tournament.

COMPETING TEAMS:  The 10 teams that will be competing for the team State championship in Division 1, with the number of times the programs have qualified for the team competition in parentheses, are Arrowhead (16), Eau Claire Memorial/North (13), Franklin/Muskego  (1),  Hartford (5),  Holmen (18), Homestead (24), Manitowoc Lincoln (8), Mukwonago/Kettle Moraine (8), Sun Prairie (5) and Verona/Edgewood (10). The 10 teams competing in Division 2 are Antigo (15), Dodgeville/Mineral Point/Iowa-Grant (1), Elkhorn (8), Medford/Colby (1), Mount Horeb (35), Nicolet (21), Reedsburg  (6), Sparta (3), West Salem/Aquinas/Bangor (4) and Whitefish Bay (27). There were 83 teams in the Tournament Series this year, including 42 in Division 1 and 41 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. In 2020, a change to cooperative team eligibility restricted co-op programs to a maximum of two schools or a combined enrollment of the co-op must be less than the enrollment of the largest stand-alone program in each respective division. Whitefish Bay has won the most team championships with 11, which doesn’t include two titles with Shorewood as a co-op. The Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall co-op is second on the list of team titles won with eight. Waukesha West/North/South is next on the list with seven, and Mount Horeb and River Falls are fourth with six. Brookfield Central and De Pere have five titles. Addie Gallun of Whitewater and Beth Weber of Whitefish Bay/Shorewood have won the most individual championships in meet history with 10. Gina Piazza of Fall River is next with eight, and Jenny Donar of Southwestern/Cuba City and Samantha Krueger of River Falls have won seven.

LAST YEAR: The Wilmot/Union Grove/Williams Bay co-op captured its first team title with a score of 145.8 after finishing runner-up in 2020. Whitefish Bay won the team championship in Division 2 for the membership-leading 11th time. The Blue Dukes compiled a score of 146.575, which set a Division 2 record for the highest team score.  Individually in Division 1, Miranda Knabe of Menomonee Falls/Germantown won the all-around competition for the second consecutive year with a four-event score of 37.75. Knabe tied for the championship on the uneven parallel bars with Jadyn Pye of Wilmot/Union Grove/Williams Bay. Each recorded a score of 9.50 on the apparatus. Isabella Bins of Hamilton and Kaylee LaFernier of Oconomowoc were co-champions in the vault competition with a score of 9.625. Bins also captured the crown on the balance beam with a score of 9.525. Annie Murphy Wilmot/Union Grove/Williams Bay won her second straight floor exercise championship, scoring a 9.575 on her routine. In Division 2, Addie Gallun of Whitefish Bay won two individual events and the all-around. She earned the all-around title with a score of 37.700. She also won the uneven bars with a score of 9.650 as well as the vault with a score of 9.700. Lorisa Shatrawka of River Valley/Barneveld won the balance beam with a score of 9.200, and Autumn Tiede of River Falls won the gold medal in the floor exercise with a score of 9.550.

DIVISION 1 NOTEBOOK:  There are no returning champions from the State Championships last season seeking a repeat title this year. There are five gymnasts that have qualified in the all-around this season after placing in the top 10 at State in 2021. Junior Maggie Pokorny of Homestead is the top returning finisher with her third-place finish last season, and she won the all-around at her sectional last week. Sophomore Wylde Chupich of Badger/Burlington was fifth at State last season; senior Olivia Rebout of Janesville Craig was eighth; junior Meghan Todd of Menomonee Falls/Germantown was ninth; and senior Hannah Martini of Franklin/Muskego was 10th. The top all-arounds at the other four qualifying sectionals include senior Kamryn McNally of Holmen, junior Clara Kenney of Hartford, junior Annika Rufenacht of Verona/Edgewood and senior Anna Lauber from Franklin/Muskego. In the vaulting competition, Rebout is the top returning performer in the vault after placing in a tie for fourth at State last season. Only two other gymnasts qualifying this season finished in the top 10 in the vault at last year’s State meet. Pokorny placed seventh, and senior Emilie Rochon of Franklin tied for ninth. Others that may contend for the title in the event following their sectional championship performances are senior Samara Ownby of Madison East/Madison La Follette, Rufenacht, Pokorny, McNally, Kenney and Lauber, who tied for 11th at State last year. In the uneven bars event, five of the top 10 in last year’s State meet return to the field this year. Pokorny is the top returner after placing fifth a year ago. Rebout was sixth, Chupich seventh, junior Alyssa Merlet of Arrowhead was eighth and senior Izzy Wong of Franklin/Muskego was ninth. Sectional champions in the uneven bars that may challenge for the title are Pokorny, Rebout, Kenney, Ownby, and freshman Katie Lang of Holmen. The balance beam has six returning gymnasts that placed in the top 10 last year, including Pokorny, who’s the top returner with a fourth-place finish a year ago. Junior Leeza Patterson of Wilmot/Union Grove/Williams Bay was fifth last season; Todd was sixth; senior Drew Gersmeyer of Menomonee Falls/Germantown and senior Emma Loen of Eau Claire Memorial/North tied for seventh; and Lauber was 10th. Patterson, Todd, Loen, Kenney, Rufenacht are this year’s sectional champions in the balance beam and should be among the contenders for a position on the medals stand this year. Chupich is the top returning individual in the floor exercise after placing third last season. Three others that placed in the top 10 in 2021 are back at State to contend for the title are Todd, who tied for fourth; sophomore Sam Burge of Mukwonago/Kettle Moraine, who tied for sixth; and Rochon, who tied for ninth. The sectional champions that are poised to be among the leaders this week are Kenney; Rochon; Ownby; senior Harley Bartels of Holmen, who finished just outside the top 10 last season, placing 11th; and senior Kamyla Held of Whitnall/Oak Creek.

DIVISION 2 NOTEBOOK:  There are no returning champions from the State Championships last season seeking a repeat title this year. There are five gymnasts that have qualified in the all-around this season after placing in the top 10 at State last year. The highest finisher last season that returns for another attempt at the all-around title is junior Ella Hemker of Sparta, who placed third. Junior Cassi Hansen of Nicolet returns after placing fifth. Senior Kate Graham of Whitefish Bay was sixth; junior Savannah Clark of Sparta was seventh; and junior Lily Wiegand of Sparta was 10th. The top all-arounds at the five qualifying sectionals include Hemker, junior Kate Malchow of Medford/Colby, senior Sydney Stoenner of Mount Horeb, sophomore Morgan Siekert of Viroqua/Cashton/De Soto, and Anneh Britz of Whitefish Bay. Among the qualifiers in the vault competition, there are six gymnasts that placed in the top 10 a year ago, including Hemker, who was runner-up. Her teammates, Wiegand and Clark, also landed in the top 10 with a tie for third and ninth-place finish, respectively, in 2021. Senior Elizabeth Lockhart of Elkhorn was fifth last year in the vault, while sophomore Kyla Krause of Medford/Colby and Hansen were eighth and 10th, respectively. Those fresh off winning sectional titles expecting to contend for the vault title are Wiegand, Krause, Stoenner, senior Elsa Nelson of Dodgeville/Mineral Point and sophomore Mikayla Cibulka of West Bend West. Five of this year’s qualifiers in the uneven bars placed within the top 10 at last year’s championships. Hansen is the top returner after placing third a year ago. Hemker finish seventh, Graham placed eighth, sophomore Emily Craker of Reedsburg was ninth and senior Makala Ulrich of Medford/Colby was 10th. Other contenders for the title in uneven bars include the champions at each of the five sectionals, including Malchow, Britz, junior Brooke Von Glahn of Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster, junior Tanya Michlig of West Salem/Aquinas/Bangor and junior Gabby Dixon of Elkhorn. The balance beam appears loaded with State-experienced competitors as seven of the top 10 individuals from last year return for another shot at the crown. Britz and Hansen finished in a tie for third last year to lead the group of returners. Clark placed in a tie for fifth, and Wiegand came in seventh, followed by Graham, senior Catie McPherson of Ashland/Drummond/Mellen, and sophomore Brooklyn Murphy of Dodgeville/Mineral Point/Iowa-Grant at eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively. Sectional titlists vying for the balance beam championship are Hemker, Murphy, Orth, Malchow and sophomore Violet Statz of Mount Horeb. Hemker highlights the list of returning gymnasts in the floor exercise after placing fourth at State last year. Graham finished right behind her in fifth place, and Stoenner was sixth. Senior Kaley Zarda of Antigo tied for eighth, and senior Ella Peterson of Mount Horeb was 10th. If the top floor exercise routines at sectionals are any indication of who may be among the leaderboard at State, the five champions at sectionals were Hemker, Ulrich, Britz, Craker, Stoenner and sophomore Jenna Heindselman of Elkhorn.

TITLE IX 50TH ANNIVERSARY RECOGNITION: The WIAA launched a year-long celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title IX legislation at the first-ever State Girls Individual Wrestling Tournament in January. A complimentary commemorative program will be available at all State Tournaments throughout the year. Participants in all girls’ State Tournaments this year will receive a commemorative bag tag, and recognition of the campaign will be promoted on tournament signage, t-shirt giveaways, stories and facts on the WIAA website and social media platforms.

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Gymnastics Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaagym. Also like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram at wiaawi.

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

ORDER STATE TOURNAMENT APPAREL: WIAA licensed apparel is available online for the 2022 State Gymnastics Tournament. To browse and purchase branded merchandise, visit the WIAA Store by locating and clicking on the link located on the gymnastics tournament page.

 

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