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Injury-struck gymnasts rally to capture 3rd at Coulee Conference Tourney Friday


February 26, 2020

An injury plagued season continued to take a toll on the Viroqua Area gymnastics team, as the Blackhawks lost two more competitors during routine practice in preparation for the end of season Coulee Conference tournament hosted by GET on Friday February 21.

“We had a few more injuries in practice last week and the unpredictable thing is that we were not doing anything unusual,” commented long-time Viroqua coach Darcy Mc Clelland. “So I have to believe it just comes down to one of those years where things are against us.

The Blackhawks suffered a major blow early in the season when Cashton HS senior Lydia Korn, a 3-time WIAA state tournament qualifier and team captain suffered a season ending knee injury, requiring surgery. Then promising VHS freshman Mara Anderson was sidelined, also with a knee injury, in mid-January.

This past week VHS freshman Sydney Burkhardt, a good vault and un-even bar competitor, and Kiara Yttri, a solid floor exercise tumbler, both joined the list of sidelined Blackhawks heading into the Conference tournament.

The Blackhawks rallied however, to place third as a team in the five team Coulee tournament.

Host school GET won the title with 134.150 team total, followed closely by West Salem with 133.950, Viroqua was next with 118.875, Arcadia with 115.075 and Westby with 97.350.

VHS freshman Aaliyah Fox just missed the podium in three events, scoring a 6th place finish in the all-around with a score of 31.950, with an 8.650 on the floors, an 8.050 on the beam, a 7.7 on the vault and a 7.6 on the bars.

Kenzy Kreuzer, a DeSoto HS junior, was next for the Hawks with a 29.525 all-around total featuring an 8.150 on the floors, a 7.6 on the vault, a 6.9on the bars and a 6.875 on the beam.

Cashton HS senior Gracey Mlsna compiled a 28.95 four-event total, with a 7.650 on the floor, a pair of 7.3’s on both the vault and the bars and a 6.7 on the beam.

GET’s Abby Miller won the individual all-around Coulee Conference championship with a 35.475.

“I am extremely proud of how the girls performed with all of our ups and downs,” said McClelland. “This week the girls have been paying close attention to the finer details in the beam, floor and bar routines that can make a big difference in their overall performance. Senior Brandi Aide, junior Flynn La Maire and sophomore Erin Torgerson all performed well, and Erin gave us sunshine on floor with her pumped up music version of ‘Walking on Sunshine’.”

“This is a good team,” added McClelland. “They complement each other well and will continue to fight until the end of the season.”

The Blackhawks enter WIAA Division 2 team and individual Sectional competition on Saturday February 29. The Sectional tournament is hosted by Platteville High School and set to begin at 10:20 a.m.


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