Brittany Reuter

Freshman Brittany Reuter salutes the crowd after taking third place on the uneven bars to qualify for state on Thursday at Baraboo High School.

Chris Flores/Baraboo News Republic

For one member of the Baraboo gymnastics team, it was a dream come true. For the other, it was a sigh of relief.

Either way, freshman Brittany Reuter and sophomore Jamie Runnels punched their tickets to the state gymnastics meet on Thursday evening when the Thunderbirds hosted a WIAA Div. 2 Sectional at Baraboo High School.

Runnels earned her second straight trip to state on the vault, taking fourth place with a score of 8.6. Runnels said walking up to the podium was a sigh of relief.

“I’m so excited,” said Runnels after the sectional. “I was a little scared this year because I felt the pressure. Last year I made it so this year I felt like I had to make it. I’m so relieved.”

Reuter meanwhile, took third place on the uneven bars with a score of 7.9.

“Words can’t explain it, I’m so happy. I can’t believe I made it,” Reuter said. “I feel so relieved because I wanted it so bad.”

There was an array of emotions from the rest of the Thunderbirds, as Baraboo was less than two points shy of qualifying for state as a team. The T-Birds recorded a team score of 126.75 to take third, while Viroqua/Cashton/North took second with a 128.45. Dodgeville/Mineral Point came away with the sectional championship (132.375).

“I don’t have any bad feelings or any regrets or anything. They did so well today,” said Baraboo head coach Tammy Porter on their team result. “The fact that the majority of the varsity squad is freshmen, not very many (teams) can come in third at sectionals with a majority of freshmen.”

Runnels and Reuter weren’t the only ones relieved they advanced, as Porter was a little worried.

“(Runnels has) been battling a knee injury for the last month, and we’ve been very limited in practice. So I was concerned for a while that we weren’t going to get this done. The fact that she came in and did it again, I couldn’t be more proud.

“We’re really excited. To be honest with you when they flashed the 7.9 (for Reuter’s bar performance) I had my doubts. Because at sectionals sevens don’t usually (advance). So I had my doubts but when she said she took third place it made it even better.”

Reuter added a seventh place finish on the vault (8.4), while Meghan Reuter had the second highest score for Baraboo on the bars, taking 11th with a 7.3. On the balance beam, Brittany Reuter was one spot shy of qualifying, as she tied for sixth place with a score of 8.3. On the floor, Brittany Reuter, Bella Vedro, Chloe Feld, and Meghan Reuter took eighth through 11th, with scores of 8.475, 8.375, 8.25, and 8.175, respectively.

Regional Sports Reporter