Despite the challenges of this unprecedented season, the young Waupun Warrior gymnastics team worked their way to their top team score of the 2020-2021 season Saturday as they traveled to a triangular with Marshfield & Rice Lake.
The Warriors ended in the middle, scoring a 124.25. Home team Marshfield took the top spot with a 132.375, while Rice Lake finished 3rd with a 117.
“This year has been a different one, that’s for sure. I know many others are in the same boat with a shortened season and less competitions. Even through the challenges, there’s been so many good moments.” Head coach Emily Engelhardt said. “With 5 seniors graduating last year, we’re down to 4 Sophomores and 2 Freshmen. There are definite challenges to only having such a young team and only 6 girls, but one of the perks is lots more practice time and turns. They’ve improved tremendously in the last 2 months.”
Leading the Warriors was 2nd year Varsity member Nicole Roecker. The sophomore had personal records on Vault (8.3, 5th), Beam (9.35, 1st), and All Around (33.7, 2nd). She also took 5th on Bars (7.4) and 4th on Floor (8.65).
“Nicole had a fantastic day – she was battling a sore back, but her attitude and confidence were on point today, and it showed. She’s been our leader this year, and not just because of her scores. She’s always encouraging and pushing her teammates, having fun in the gym to keep things light, and works hard every practice. Her beam today was amazing. There’s always things to make bigger and connect better, but she was so clean and solid. She’s started throwing her back tuck, and she stuck it today. She deserved that score, and was so close to the school record 9.4!” Engelhardt said.
Taking 5th All Around was Graycie VandeBerg. The freshman scored a 32.9, a PR for her. She also tied for 1st on Vault (8.65, PR), was 4th on Bars (7.55), was 2nd on Beam (8.7, PR), and 5th on Floor (8.0).
“Graycie has been a great addition to our team, she’s driven and a fierce competitor. I know she’ll accomplish great things in her High School career.” Engelhardt said.
Sophomore Maddy Falke (also a returning Varsity member) bested her own personal records with a 7.75 on Beam (8th), 7.95 on Floor (6th), and 29.4 AA (10th). She also tied for 6th on Vault with an 8.15.
Sophomore Jadyn McLinn also PR’d on Beam with a 7.4, while Freshman Kearsten Sytsma PR’d on Vault (7.95), and All Around (27.7).
“Nicole (Crescio, Asst Coach) and I were very happy with the girls and their performances today. They persevered and didn’t let a fall or little misstep throw them off, and that’s a huge lesson to learn. They kept it light but still were able to focus, a perfect combo for meet day. (We are) looking forward to the end of the season competitions and to see how this team grows in the next few years!” Engelhardt added.
The Warriors host Markesan Tuesday, then head to the Greater Metro Conference next weekend.
If you have a question about this story or have an idea for a future local sports story, please email Wade Bates at [email protected]
Photo Credit: Emily Engelhardt
Photo Caption: Waupun’s Nicole Roecker (left) finished 1st in the beam and teammate Graycie VandeBerg tied for first in the vault