Hailey Gillen

Hailey Gillen, a member of the Viroqua cooperative gymnastics team, performs on the beam during a home meet against Reedsburg, Thursday, Dec. 14.

Eric Wuennenberg, Performance Photo

The young and inexperienced Viroqua cooperative gymnastics team, with three sophomores, six freshmen and only two seniors on the roster, placed fifth among seven teams competing at the Mt. Horeb Invitational, Saturday, Jan. 6.

The Blackhawks’ team total of 116.00, compared to invitational champion and host Mt. Horeb, with 134.575, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 129.150, Jefferson 125.075, Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster 123.250, River Valley 113.550 and Prairie du Chien/Fennimore 94.750.

Once again, as she has done all season, sophomore Lydia Korn (Cashton High School) led the Blackhawks, placing seventh in the individual all-around with a 31.975. Korn’s total included an 8.775 on the floor exercise, a 7.850 on the vault, a 7.70 on the un-even bars and a 7.650 on the balance beam.

Classmate Gracey Mlsna (CHS), was the only other Blackhawk to place in the all-around, 17th, with a 27.950 total, compiled from a 7.90 on the floor, 7.150 in the vault, 7.00 on the beam and a 5.900 on the bars.

Freshman Kayden Kramer (CHS) placed in three events, including 12th in the vault, scoring a team-best 7.975, an 8.00 on the floor and a 6.00 on the bars. It was Kramer’s debut on the floors at the varsity level, and according to coach Darcy McClelland, “Kayden did not disappoint, and with more competition I believe she will continue improvement for us.”

Senior Hailey Gillen put in a new skill in her floor routine with a “round-off back-tuck,” which McClelland said, “gave her a solid performance,” scoring a 7.4 in the event. Gillen added scores of 7.30 in vault and a 5.70 on beam.

Fellow VHS senior Madronna Murdock added a new “superior dismount in a back-tuck” to her beam routine to score a personal-best of 6.05 in the event.

Freshman Kenzey Kruezer (De Soto High School) competed in three varsity events, scoring a 7.50 on the vault, a 6.60 on the floors and a 5.350 on the bars.

VHS freshman Katrina Koppa rounded out the Blackhawks’ scoring, competing in two events with a 6.80 on the uneven bars and a 6.20 on the beam.

“This is always a good experience of what the state meet is all about,” McClelland said. “It gives the girls a sense of competition that is intense, fast moving and a high level of competitive teams and individuals.”

After competing at the Holmen Invitational Jan. 13, the Blackhawks will host their own event Jan. 19.

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