The Baraboo gymnastics team placed third out of 11 teams at the Lisa Steger Memorial Invitational in Platteville on Saturday.
The Thunderbirds used a team score of 128.225 to finish third, trailing only Mount Horeb (138.5) and Waunakee (137.475). Sauk Prairie (120.95) took sixth and Reedsburg (107.775) landed in 10th.
“This was a very important invite for us as a majority of the teams there will also be in our sectional,” Baraboo coach Tammy Porter said. “We are realistic that Mount Horeb will be tough for us to beat as they continue to outscore us, but as for Jefferson and Monona Grove, the two teams that are capable of beating us out, we know what they are scoring and what we need to do.”
All three of Baraboo’s all-around competitors placed in the top 15. Bella Vedro paced the T-Birds, using three top-10 finishes to place seventh overall with a score of 33.575. Brittany Reuter (32.05) added an 11th-place finish for Baraboo, while Meghan Reuter (31.3) took 14th.
Audrey Pape (31.725) tied for 12th to lead Sauk Prairie in the all-around.
Southwestern/Cuba City/Benton’s Kelsie Goffinet won the all-around title with a 36.0, while Mount Horeb’s Krista Taylor (35.5) took second. Goffinet and Taylor split the individual events, with Goffinet claiming the balance beam (8.95) and the floor exercise (9.4) while Taylor won on the uneven bars (9.2) and the vault (8.95).
Vedro led Baraboo in three of the four individual events, highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the floor exercise. The sophomore put up a 9.1 on the floor to tie Taylor for fifth. Brittany Reuter (8.65) tied for 14th in the floor exercise, while Meghan Reuter (8.45) took 19th, Jamie Runnels (8.175) placed 24th and Maddie Beal (7.8) finished 28th.
Vedro’s 8.45 on the vault tied Mount Horeb’s Grace O’Neil for eighth place. Brittany Reuter and Runnels each recorded an 8.3 to tie for 13th, while Meghan Reuter (8.05) tied for 18th and Mia Burkhalter (7.7) took 27th.
Vedro used a score of 8.175 to tie Southwestern/Cuba City/Benton’s Kaylee Slaats for 10th place in the balance beam. Brittany Reuter (7.2) tied for 27th, followed by Burkhalter (7.025) in 32nd, Meghan Reuter (7.0) in 33rd and Beal (6.95) in 34th.
“We had a terrible beam set. I have no way to sugarcoat it,” Porter said. “The only one to stick their routine was Bella and that was with several missed connections. It has been quite some time since we have counted low sevens in our beam event all-around. So, needless to say, beam will definitely be a major focus of ours.”
Brittany Reuter scored a team-best 7.9 on the uneven bars to place 17th. Vedro (7.85) was right behind, tying for 18th, while Runnels (7.8) and Meghan Reuter (7.8) tied for 21st and Burkhalter (7.55) tied for 27th.
The eight-team Badger Conference meet will be held at Sauk Prairie High School on Saturday. The conference meet will also serve as Baraboo’s final preparation for the WIAA Division 2 Mount Horeb sectional meet, which will be held on Feb. 22.
“Our main goal from here on out is to keep everyone healthy and to fix the mistakes we know are there, and the ones that are costing us several tenths per gymnast,” Porter said. “I can count up to 3.5 points of mistakes that need to be fixed before sectionals and that is going to be our focus.”