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Wildcat gymnasts top Menomonie

The Wildcat gymnastics team's only senior—Sam Krueger—highlighted the Cats' Senior Night win over Menomonie Tuesday, Dec. 19, but plenty of underclassmen stepped up as well in the team's final home dual of the season.

Krueger took first in the vault, uneven bars and floor on her way to winning the all-around title and lead the Cats to a 137.25 to 129.65 victory.

"Although our score didn't necessarily reflect it, we did have a strong meet overall," head coach Lauren Kaminski said. "Our performances were on track as improvements from previous meets and the girls were able to incorporate several new skills into their routines."

Kaminski pointed to the Wildcats' beam routines as an example, where three of the Cats' five competitors—Autumn Tiede, Isabel Seyffer and Kassidy Snell—stayed on. Krueger placed second with a 9.0 despite a fall while Tiede was third with 8.175 and Seyffer placed fourth with 8.1. Cat Stewart added a fifth place score of 8.0 while Snell scored 7.7.

"All five varsity competitors had solid routines," Kaminski said. "I was really proud of their composure."

Krueger posted a first place score of 9.625 in the floor exercise and Tiede was second with 9.275 while Natalie Swick took third with 9.125.

"Autumn Tiede upgraded her first tumbling pass from a 1-1/2 to a double full, which is a skill that you don't see too often," Kaminski said. "Autumn had a great night all around; she stuck her beam routine as well and her consistency is improving on all events."

Krueger won the vault with a score of 9.35 and Tiede was third with 8.8 while Evan Mikla placed fourth with 8.65.

Kaminski said the roughest event of the night for the Wildcats was the uneven bars. Krueger won the event with a score of 8.225 while Madison Berg was the next highest Wildcat with a fourth place score of 8.025 and Seyffer was fifth with 7.85.

"Bars was overall a little rough," Kaminski said. "We had little mistakes and extra swings. One highlight however was that Madison Berg added a release move into her routine, which is an event requirement. Two weeks ago we didn't have any routines on bars with full event requirements; as of now we have two."

Kaminski said the Wildcats are looking forward to the much-needed holiday break. They return to action with a double-dual with Hudson and Superior Friday, Jan. 5 in Superior.

"I'm looking forward to having some time for girls to work on new skills as well," she said. "We're hoping for a couple new dismounts and release moves on bars, new and upgraded tumbling on floor, as well as improvements on vault and beam. We will see how much we can accomplish during our five days of holiday practices."

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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