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Cashton gymnast receives Coulee conference award


February 17, 2021

Morgan Siekert, Cashton, shown above on the vault has received the Coulee region Gymnast of the Year award.

Without a doubt Morgan Siekert has had an outstanding season as a member of the Viroqua Area Gymnastics team. The hard-working and talented, Cashton High School freshman, has burst onto local high school tumbling scene winning individual all-around honors at each and every competition she has participated in the 2020-21 campaign.

That is until the annual Coulee Conference tournament event hosted by the Blackhawks on Friday February 12. Siekert totaled an impressive 34.850 all-around score, but placed 2nd behind GMC's Paris Lambert's 35.225 total.

Lambert led the GMC co-op to the Coulee team championship with a 134.25, Viroqua Area was a close 2nd with a 131.00, followed by West Salem Co-op's 130.30, Westby 108.525 and Arcadia 104.925.

The Blackhawks 131.0 team score was a vast improvement from their last two competitions, which included team scores of just 125.175 at a Coulee dual versus GMC on Feb. 2 and a 124.775 at the Platteville Invite on Feb. 6. Viroqua Area coach Darcy McClelland shared these comments about the team's improvement. "The girls were excited to be in their home gym and it showed. We talked a lot this week about how to boost our team connection and it showed in our overall team score...they worked hard all week and it showed."

Despite the 2nd place finish at the end-of-season Coulee event, Siekert was selected to receive the prestigious Coulee Conference 'Gymnast-of-the-Year' award, based on season long criteria as established by the conference coaches.

Consistency in each event at each meet has been the calling card for Siekert in her inaugural season of high school competition. The coach's criteria for the honor rewards just that level of season long consistent performance. The scoring system awards 3 points for 1st place in each event at each conference meet and all-around, 2 points for 2nd and 1 point for 3rd.

The Coulee tournament was no different, as Siekert while not at the top of the podium in a single event, placed in the top three individually in all four events. Morgan earned a 2nd place medal on the always challenging balance beam with a sparkling score of 9.150, and placed 3rd in a trio of events including an 8.550 on the un-even bars, an 8.350 on the vault and in the floor exercise with an 8.80.

McClelland, long time Viroqua head coach, shared these thoughts about Siekert following the conference tournament, "Morgan is a competitive, but quiet individual who concentrates and focuses on the task at hand. She is always willing to try new things, even if it doesn't go so well the first time. She is a supportive teammate and has been a positive addition to our team."

VHS sophomore Aaliyah Fox earned all-conference honors in the individual all-around with a 6th place finish, scoring a career high 32.525, including a pair of 5th place finishes in the vaulting with an 8.250 and the floors with an 8.575 and scores of 7.90 on the beam and 7.80 on the bars.

Desoto HS senior Kenzie Kreuzer shared 5th place honors with Fox in the vault with an identical score of 8.250 and added an 8th place finish on the floors with a 7.950. Kreuzer, who just missed the all-around podium with a 30.575 total, also scored a 7.80 on the beam and a 6.425 on the bars.

VHS freshman Emma Harem scored a 7.925 in the vault and a 7.850 on the bars. Sophomore Mara Anderson scored a 7.975 on the vault and a 7.650 on the bars. VHS senior Flynn LeMaire scored a 7.950 on the floors and an 8.050 on the beam while VHS classmate Kiarra Yttri received a 7.925 on the floor exercise and a 7.450 on the beam.

The future looks bright for the Viroqua / Cashton / DeSoto program when you consider in addition to Siekert, Fox, Harem and Anderson all being underclassmen, the Blackhawks also won the JV portion of the Coulee tournament. VHS freshman Kami Delap was the JV all-around champion, including top of the podium performances in both the vault and bars. Harem won the beam competition among the JV's and Anderson was the top performer on the floors.

The Blackhawks will compete in the WIAA D-2 sectional competition this Saturday February 20 hosted by Onalaska High School. Individual and team qualifiers advance to the WIAA State Tournament hosted by Wisconsin Rapids High School on Feb 26-27.


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