WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Waupun sophomore Gracie Lenz was in new territory heading into WIAA Division 2 state individual gymnastics meet Saturday.
She was on her own.
Lenz was the only Warrior competing over the weekend, participating on vault and floor exercise at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School. She finished in the middle of the pack in each event.
“We were very proud of Grace and her performance at the state meet this weekend,” Waupun head coach Jane Neevel said. “It was a big accomplishment to make it through sectionals on two events. There are a lot of great athletes that are sitting in the stands watching.”
Lenz had to wait until the third of five rounds to see action, starting on the floor, where she posted an 8.767 to take 13th.
“After seeing other scores, we were pretty happy with that!” Neevel said.
Lenz said she had butterflies in the early going.
“Yes, floor was a little nerve-wracking,” she said. “Then I think I settled in and did a little better on vault.”
Lenz capped her day in the final round, and her handspring full earned an 8.8 on her first vault — a personal record by a full two-tenths that landed her in a tie for 12th.
She said she tried something new on the apparatus, which led the big score.
“I did the same vault, but we bumped up the table settings, so instead of being at four, I was at five,” she said. “I think that made a difference on my vault.”
Once Lenz was done, she said she felt proud of the way she competed.
“It was really cool to be competing for Waupun and just fun,” she said. “It fun because last year I went as a team, but it was just to know that I made it for myself and that I deserved to be there.”
Lenz’s coach was just as proud.
“Even though she competed last year in the team competition, we were proud of how she handled the pressure as an individual this season,” Neevel said. “She was calm and focused the entire day — her big smile said it all and her hard work paid off.”