Engelkes is headed to state

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton’s Taylor Englekes qualified for state on the vault in the all-around competition./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Taylor Engelkes had no clue if this opportunity would ever arrive.

Engelkes, a senior gymnast at Middleton High School, wondered for most of the year if she’d have a final season. But when Middleton’s administration approved the return of winter sports last month, Engelkes was determined to make the most of it.

Mission accomplished.

Engelkes had a terrific performance at the WIAA Division 1 Mukwonago Sectional on Feb. 18. Engelkes qualified for state on the vault and the uneven bars and will compete in the state tournament Saturday at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln Fieldhouse.

“We're so excited to have Taylor represent Middleton Cardinal gymnastics at state,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said. “She's been a remarkable gymnast and young lady over the past four years, is a team captain, and is someone that all of the girls on the team really look up to.”

The Cardinals fell just short in their bid to qualify for state as a team, finishing third overall. Only the top two teams at sectionals earn a trip to state.

Mukwonago/Kettle Moraine was first with a 139.3250, while Verona/Edgewood was second (137.6250). Middleton was a close third at 136.3250.

“We were so proud of the girls for their performance at sectionals,” Steck said. “Not only were we up against tough Milwaukee schools this year with the sectional shuffle, but the girls had a short season and only one in person meet prior to sectionals.

“Additionally, while most of the Milwaukee schools have had practice like normal, our girls were practicing only two days a week due to cohorts. Really they beat so many odds and finished third, which is incredible. Additionally, the girls increased their team score by seven points in a matter of weeks, which is so impressive and really unheard of.”

The top five finishers in each event earned a trip to state, and Engelkes was fifth on the vault (9.15). Junior Megg Weiler was 24th (8.40), senior Maddie Phaneuf was 38th (8.125) and sophomore Jayden Mathias was 39th (8.10).

Sophomore Lucy Hellenbrand was Middleton’s top performer on the uneven bars, finishing eighth with an 8.575. Weiler was 10th (8.525), Mathias was 14th (8.425) and Engelkes was 16th (8.20).

Engelkes led the Cardinals on the balance beam, finishing 12th with an 8.80. Mathias was 13th (8.775), Hellenbrand was 17th (8.70) and freshman Scarlet Stahl was 33rd (8.050).

Engelkes was ninth on the floor exercise with a 9.150, while Weiler was 24th (8.550), and both Hellenbrand and Mathias were 28th (8.40).

Engelkes also finished fifth in the all-around (35.30), while Mathias was 10th (33.70) and Weiler was 13th (33.025).

“We went into sectionals just wanting the girls to have a fun meet, and honestly weren't even sure anyone would be able to qualify for individuals due to the tough competition,” Steck said. “Because of this, I think Taylor gave it her all thinking it could be her one last meets, and it showed.

“She really had a fun night and enjoyed every minute of her routines. As a result, she qualified for individuals on vault and all around, which is a huge honor considering the really tough competition she faced.”

Now, Engelkes hopes to exit in style with a big performance at state.

“She just wants to have fun and is so grateful to be there,” Steck said. “This wasn't the season she was anticipating, but we’re so glad she — as well as our other seniors Lexi Spevacek and Maddie Phaneuf — got to have a season of some sort.

“Really the biggest competition at state is who we saw — and who she beat — at sectionals. So we just want Taylor to go into it with the same positive attitude she approaches everything with and do the best she can.”

• Mount Horeb 143.550, Middleton 136.075 — The Vikings defeated the Cardinals in a highly-entertaining dual meet on Feb. 16.

Taylor Engelkes was Middleton’s top performer, finishing fourth in the all-around competition (34.950). Megg Weiler and Jayden Mathias tied for seventh in the all-around (33.575).





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