Skibba shines at state gymnastics

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton's Aryn Skibba finished third at state in the all-around competition./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

 

WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Aryn Skibba knew this was the end.

The finality to a brilliant high school career. The closing of a memorable chapter in her life.

So Skibba did what she’s done time and time again. She shined.

Skibba, a senior gymnast at Middleton, finished third in the all-around competition at the WIAA Division 1 individual state meet Saturday held at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School. Arrowhead’s Jorin Fredman won the event with a 38.217 score, while Skibba was right on her heels at 37.90.

“I was really thrilled because my score was high and I stuck all my routines,” Skibba said afterwards. “My beam was a little shaky, but I stayed on and that's all I wanted. My other routines were some of my best, so I'm not complaining.”

Skibba was sixth at state a year ago and fourth in 2012. But this was her highest score and best overall finish.

Skibba finished second on the floor exercise (9.533), was fourth on both the balance beam (9.450) and the vault (9.50), and was sixth on the uneven bars (9.417).

Skibba was the only gymnast in the state to earn a top-six finish on every event, a finish which lands those individuals on the podium for the medal ceremony.

“It was an amazing final moment for her,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said of Skibba. “She has overcome so much, and I couldn't be more proud of her. She is such a strong and talented young lady.

“I am so proud of her for claiming third in all-around. She works so hard, and for her to be able to beat out the many Milwaukee area girls from the co-ops, it's a great pat on the back for someone like Aryn, who is so down to earth.”

Skibba missed more than half of the season with a nagging back injury. But she certainly made up for lost time, winning the Madison Memorial Sectional, helping the Cardinals finish fourth at team state, then placing third individually in the all-around.

Skibba plans to give up gymnastics when she heads to college in the fall. So if this was indeed her swan song, it was a memorable one.

“This is definitely one of the more memorable years because we had our first annual Cardinal Invite and we dominated sectionals and state and we were definitely a close knit team this year,” Skibba said. “And with setting school records, this year was amazing.”

Middleton freshman Madeline Pflasterer-Jennerjohn also had a solid debut at individual state, finishing 20th in the all-around competition.

Pflasterer-Jennerjohn was 18th on the vault (9.067), 21st on the uneven bars (8.517) and 26th on the floor (8.633). She also scored an 8.917 on the balance beam.

In addition, junior Lauren Ace finished 14th on the balance beam with a 9.803.

“For individual state, my routines weren't as strong as the night before (at team state) with the exception of my beam routine,” Pflasterer-Jennerjohn said. “My beam routine was one of the best I had done all season, so it was a nice way to finish. I wasn't as focused on the place I came in as I was on enjoying the experience.”

Steck enjoyed watching her standout freshman, as well.

“I think state was a different experience for Madeline than it was for Aryn,” Steck said. “Aryn had prior state experience, but Madeline really didn't know what to expect. The crowds are loud, the venue is huge, and there are some incredibly talented girls and teams.

“I really think it was a positive experience for Madeline. She thrived under all of the circumstances of state. She's an amazing kid, she competes like a seasoned gymnast rather than a freshman. She's so mentally and physically strong, it's very impressive. It will be fun to watch her grow over the next few years.”

 

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