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Gymnasts go undefeated in BRC

The Wildcat gymnastics team capped off a perfect season in Big Rivers Conference duals with a 137.025 to 135.1 victory over Chippewa Falls Thursday, Feb. 8, in Chippewa Falls.

The victory puts the Wildcats in position to wrap up the overall BRC title when they host the conference meet Friday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Meyer Middle School.

Head coach Lauren Kaminski said she's starting to see the consistency she wants from the young Wildcat team heading into the postseason. Seven of the 14 gymnasts on varsity are freshmen and 10 are underclassmen.

"We did still see some mistakes on events that we don't normally, but after the Chippewa meet it seemed that our consistency is continuing to improve and we've been trending toward higher scores," she noted. "We're just looking to keep the upward trend going and finish the season out on a high note."

Senior Sam Krueger won the all-around competition with a score of 36.3 to pace the Wildcats. Krueger took first in the floor exercise with a score of 9.4 and first in the vault with 9.2 while taking second on the balance beam with 9.05 and second on the uneven bars with 8.875.

"Natalie Swick and Sam Krueger had great floor routines and were the team's anchors on that event," Kaminski noted.

Swick, a junior, and freshman Eva Mila both scored 8.6 on the floor to tie for third while Mikla posted a personal best score of 8.675 to take third on the balance beam.

"Eva Mikla had a beautiful, confident beam routine," Kaminski said. "She set the pace for a solid beam set for the team."

Freshman Autumn Tiede contributed a fourth place score of 8.55 in the vault and Mikla was fifth with 8.5, while freshman Madison Berg took fifth on bars with a score of 8.2. Berg also broke an eight-year old school record in the JV vault with a score of 8.8.

Kaminski said now that the regular season is over, it's time to focus on the postseason.

"Some of our varsity athletes will have a little more dedicated time to focus on their varsity events in the gym," she said.

Following the BRC Meet, the Wildcats will compete at the WIAA Division 2 sectional tournament Saturday, Feb. 24, in West Salem. The WIAA State Team Championships will be Friday, March 2, while the state individual championships are Saturday, March 3 in Wisconsin Rapids.

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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