The Sauk Prairie gymnastics season came to an end at the WIAA Division 2 Mount Horeb sectional on Feb. 22.
The Eagles scored 123.375 points to place seventh out of eight teams in a competitive sectional that saw Mount Horeb win the title with a score of 138.200.
“Our sectional was much more competitive than our previous sectional,” Sauk Prairie coach Justine Anderson said, as the Eagles transitioned into a new sectional this season. “To give you perspective, we would have finished third as a team in the old sectional, but finished seventh this year. However, our girls were right in there with the rest of them, and during awards did not feel so far out of it either. Several freshmen saw the potential for making it to state in the future, regardless of it being a more difficult task now, and I believe it is completely possible.”
The Eagles edged out their performance from the Badger Conference Meet on Feb. 17, when Sauk Prairie scored 123.075 to take seventh out of eight teams. That improvement was prevalent all season long for a young Sauk Prairie team that consisted of just three seniors.
“Even with a couple of bobbles on bars and beam, they put those events aside and gave great performances on the floor and vault, leading to an increase in our score from conference,” Anderson said. “Looking back to the beginning of the season, they have improved so much, not only in scores, but in consistency or performances and ability to compete. I have to say, I am extremely proud this year.”
Sauk Prairie’s best event at sectionals was the vault, using a score of 32.075 to take fifth out of eight teams. Madison Marshall led the way for the Eagles, scoring 8.075 to take 19th overall. Audrey Pape (8.025) and Heidi Kuhnau (8.0) took 20th and 22nd, respectively, while Carina Meixelsperger (7.975) placed 24th with a personal-best 7.975 and Samara Estrada finished 36th with a 7.425.
Kuhnau had Sauk Prairie’s top individual finish. The freshman scored an 8.450 on the balance beam to take seventh overall, coming just two spots away from qualifying for Saturday’s WIAA individual state meet in Wisconsin Rapids.
“The biggest surprise was Heidi’s beam score,” Anderson said. “Although she looks beautiful on the beam, this was the best routine she has ever performed and the first time I can say she really hit every skill, so she deserved the big score that she got. And to be so close to going to state as a freshman is very exciting for her and for us as coaches.
Brenna Diehl (20th, 7.5), Pape (26th, 7.4), Addie Desroches (27th, 7.375) and Marshall (32nd, 7.225) rounded out the balance beam scoring for the Eagles.
Pape led Sauk Prairie in the floor exercise and the uneven bars. The junior scored a season-high 8.575 on the floor to take 16th, while putting up a 7.8 to place 19th on the bars.
Meixelsperger used a personal-record score of 8.075 to take 27th on the floor exercise, followed by Kuhnau (31st, 7.95), Marshall (32nd, 7.775) and Desroches (34th, 7.45). Izzy Kalinosky added a 31st-place finish on the uneven bars (6.95), while Kuhnau (32nd, 6.9), Marshall (36th, 6.55) and Estrada (39th, 5.35) also represented the Eagles on the bars.
Pape led Sauk Prairie in the all-around, taking 14th with a 31.8 while Kuhnau (31.3) placed 17th and Marshall (29.625) finished 23rd. Mount Horeb’s Krista Taylor won the all-around title with a 35.425, followed by Southwestern/Benson/Cuba City’s Kelsie Goffinet (34.525) and Mount Horeb’s Grace O’Neil (33.875).
WIAA DIV. 2 MOUNT HOREB SECTIONAL
Team scores: Mount Horeb 138.200, Jefferson 131.825, Baraboo 128.775, Monona Grove 128.200, Platteville co-op 127.100, Southwestern co-op 126.250, Sauk Prairie 123.375, Whitewater 118.525.
Individual state qualifiers
Vault: 1, Taylor, MH, 9.0; 2, Wright, J, 8.825; 3, O’Neil, MH, 8.6; 4, Alberts, MH, 8.425; 5, Jenks-Recker, MG, 8.4. Uneven bars: 1, Taylor, MH, 9.05; 2, Dahm, MH, 8.45; 3, Wright, J, 8.325; 4, Goffinet, SW, 8.3; Weier, MH, 8.275. Floor exercise: 1, Taylor, MH, 9.225; 2, Goffinet, SW, 9.125; 3, Alberts, MH, 9.0; 4, O’Neil, MH, 8.875; 5, Fuerstenberg, SW, 8.85. Balance beam: 1, Dahm, MH, 8.85; 2, Goffinet, SW, 8.8; 3, Capouch, MG, 8.75; 4 (tie), Gehrmann, J, and O’Neil, MH, 8.65. All-around: 1, Taylor, MH, 35.425; 2, Goffinet, SW, 34.525; 3, O’Neil, MH, 33.875; 4, Gehrmann, J, 33.6; 5, Capouch, MG, 33.25.