Little by little, the Waupun prep gymnastics team is getting better. The Warriors aren’t where they want to be come five weeks from now — but they’re happy with the progress.
And on Wednesday night, that progress added up to four individual personal records and the team’s second best score of the season during a Greater Metro Conference triangular at Menomonee Falls High School.
Senior Sara Miller (8.1) and freshman Maddy Falke (8.1) had PRs in the vault, freshman Nicole Roecker (8.5) had a PR in the balance beam while taking second place among all three teams in that event and freshman Leah Patrykus (7.0) had a PR in the floor exercise to help pace Waupun to a total of 130.25—good enough to defeat Sussex Hamilton (119.95) but not quite enough to outdo Menomonee Falls/Germantown (135.0).
"It wasn't our best overall meet, but we're seeing improvement in lots of little ways, which always add up quickly." Warriors coach Emily Engelhardt said."Overall they're looking more confident, which is great, and where we want to be this point of the season. We still have a few new skills we're working on adding for a couple girls, otherwise we're just working on consistency and polishing. This is a sport of tenths."
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Seniors Isabella Doege and Grace Lenz also lent a hand in leading the team, turning in strong performances despite not posting any PRs, Engelhardt said.
Lenz took fourth in the floor with an 8.9 while Doege took first in the vault (8.8), first in the bars (8.7) and first in the all-around (34.375) against Hamilton and was second in bars and all-around vs. Falls/Germantown.
“(Lenz) had a really good night — her vault is looking better and better; her bars was almost a PR; beam was good despite one fall; (and) her floor is really looking more and more polished and she's been cleaning up her tumbling. She's been scoring in the 9s finally, which she totally deserves. Her 8.9 was good enough for 4th place against MF/G, and 1st versus Hamilton/Sussex."
Added Engelhardt of Doege, “Her vault is looking much better; we're still working on cleaning up a few connections in her bars, but that's looking better every day; beam wasn't her cleanest, but she fought hard to stay on; and she stuck her new front full (skill) in floor so that got her pretty hyped up. We're done adding skills, now we just work on cleaning up landings and consistency."
All in all, it was a good night for the Warriors, who are hopeful they can make it back to state for the second year in a row and fourth time in the last five years.
"I'm very proud of all the girls,” Engelhardt said. “They have a great attitude at competitions and have been working hard in practice. We're continuing to build a culture of greater expectations for this program, and these girls are all in and ready to make that happen."