Gymnasts shine at Southwestern Invite

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel

Saturday was homecoming, of sorts, for Middleton’s girls gymnastics coach Kari Steck.

Her Cardinals then made sure it was a happy one.

Middleton finished third at the Southwestern/Cuba City Invite and posted a season-high score of 138.275. Mukwonago-Kettle Moraine won the meet with a score of 142.675, while Gale-Ettirck-Trempealeau was second (139.95).

Steck, a 2009 graduate of Southwestern High School, was thrilled with how her team performed.

“The girls had a phenomenal meet,” Steck said. “The Southwestern Invite pulls in teams from the Milwaukee area, LaCrosse, and the Southern parts of the state. 

“Invitationals really have a much different feel to them than dual meets, so it's always interesting to see how girls who typically do not compete at varsity invites handle the feeling and excitement of invites. I've said 100 times how amazing this group of girls is, and it showed this weekend.”

Indeed it did.

Middleton’s Lucy Bergenthal was third in the all-around competition with a score of 36.0. Teammate Madeline Pflasterer-Jennerjohn was fourth (35.95).

Bergenthal had a terrific meet, highlighted by second place finishes on the vault (9.35) and the beam (8.90). Bergenthal was also seventh on the bars (8.60) and ninth on the floor (9.15).

Pflasterer-Jennerjohn was second on the bars (9.15), fourth on the floor (9.425), fifth on the vault (9.275) and 12th on the beam (8.10).

“Madeline and Lucy came out with some of the highest all-around scores they have gotten all season, despite Madeline falling twice on beam,” Steck said. “Her determination is just amazing. You wouldn't know it by the rest of her routines that she had an off beam day.

“She does not let it bother her, and moves on with a positive attitude. It's something that is rarely seen in sophomores in high school, and seems to be contagious on the team.”

Middleton’s Chloe Young was also third on the beam (8.70) and 17th on the bars (7.95). Katherine Marshall was fifth on the beam (8.50), 16th on the floor (8.55) and 18th on the vault (8.45).

Dani Aranda was 17th on the floor (8.40) and 18th on the vault (8.45), while Eleanor Mackey was 21st (7.325) on the bars.

“The varsity girls came out four points higher than our season high,” Steck said. “This was with quite a few beam falls and bar mishaps! That to me is just amazing, that we can score a season-high with an imperfect meet. It gives the girls something to work towards and look forward to.

“It was so fun for (assistant coach) Jamie (Ekenberg) and I to see the girls’ reactions when the announcer said a 138 for our team score. It wasn't, ‘Oh darn we got third.’ It was, ‘Is that really our score?’ It was amazing.

“The girls had a blast on Saturday, which to me is the most important thing. For them to have a day of team bonding while encouraging each other and having fun while doing so is just amazing to watch.”

• On deck: Middleton hosts Madison Memorial Thursday at 6:30 p.m., then is at the Madison Memorial Invite Saturday at 10 a.m.

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