Co-op gymnasts set team record in winning conference
State champs to challenge Burlington in sectional
The first important goal of three has been taken care of by the Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall girls gymnastics team as the co-op set a program best score of 147.15 in winning the Southeast/Classic 8 Conference meet on Feb. 16 in Mukwonago.
"This was a big hit for us, a big confidence booster," said coach Katie Moore. "We beat Arrowhead and that was important because we had lost to them here last year. … It was just nice for us to earn another banner."
State one step closer
And it was the first step toward winning another WIAA state gold trophy, too. That process will ratchet up in a big way at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at Burlington, when the WIAA sectional meet is held. There the co-op will get another crack at the Burlington co-op, which has beaten the locals on several occasions this season and which a few weeks ago set an unofficial state record with a score of over 148.
The top two teams, the first five individuals on all events and the first five all-arounds will advance to the WIAA State Meet in Wisconsin Rapids on March 2 and 3. Moore believes the team is ready for the Burlington challenge this time.
"We have things to work on," said Moore, "but the biggest thing is confidence and we got a big piece of that yesterday (at the conference meet).
"We just have to keep hanging in there (with Burlington). The kids have to see it before they can believe it though. It's going to be a very intense meet."
Arrowhead was a distant second to FMOW in the five-team league test with 141.35 while the Mukwonago co-op was third with 137.2.
One of the most impressive things on the day for FMOW was that their junior varsity dominated with an imposing 137.75 mark.
Not that the varsity had anything to be ashamed of with its effort.
Closing in on record
A fast close led the co-op to its record score as the uneven bars and balance beam were huge hits. The bars crew turned in a team best mark of 37.225 and was led by the winning effort of Sammie Olson, with a meet high mark of 9.675. Olson had elbow surgery last summer and looked all the way recovered with that effort.
"By far that was her best routine of the year," said Moore. "She's right where she wants to be."
Olson got great help from runner-up Katlynn Benitez (9.325), Lauren Zurowski (9.125) and Alyssa Berhendt (9.1).
The beam wasn't that far behind for the locals as Benitez won with a 9.175 and three other FMOW performers placed, including Melanie Pearson (9.15), Zurowski (9.125) and Olson (9.1).
Rachel Tillman threw in a new vault that she'd been working on all winter in practice and was a surprise winner on that event with a 9.3, while Paige Schreiber was third with a 9.15. FMOW opened up the meet on floor excise and was led by sound efforts by Courtney L'Huillier's fourth (9.3) and Zurowski's fifth (9.25).
Zurowski wound up winning the all-around with an impressive 36.675.
"It was just a very nice day all-around," said Moore.
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