The Westby gymnastics team ended its season with one of its own competing at the WIAA State Gymnastics meet in Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday, March 3.
Westby foreign exchange student Valeria Nussbaumer from Austria, placed fifth on the vault (8.35) at Sectionals to advance individually to state. At State, Nussbaumer set a personal goal to score higher, which she accomplished finishing with a score of 8.433.
Westby Head Coach Kara Timmel said everyone was very proud to have a state qualifier and both Nussbaumer and Timmel were filled with nerves the day of the event.
“This was a new experience for both of us and Valeria had to perform in the first round of competition making it even more stressful,” Timmel said.
Nussbaumer worked hard all week on her vault to perfect her form and stick her landing. Timmel said the warm-up at State went well and as nerves set in she told Nussbaumer to just imagine she was vaulting back home in Westby.
Nussbaumer’s first competition vault was almost as perfect as she could have hoped for and ended up being the best of her two vaults. She performed both vaults with grace and lovely form, stuck her first vault landing, but had a tiny hop on her second landing resulting in a lower score.
“What an exciting environment and an honor to be a part of the state meet. The amount of talent in that gym was astounding and I am very proud of Valeria and her performance,” Timmel said, “It was a fantastic end to the season and something I will not forget.”
Timmel said her philosophy as a coach is that hard work pays off and that the Westby team as a whole made huge strides this season and the amount of growth of each individual reflected the hard work they put into practice.
“I always want them to enjoy what they are doing, but to give it their all whether that is stretching, conditioning, practicing, or having fun with the team,” Timmel said. “Our young athletes have shown a lot of improvement and have learned from our veteran gymnasts. The presence of our seniors, Emily Olson and Savannah Kenyon, will be missed, however I also see so much potential moving forward.”
The Norse gymnasts ended the season writing goals for next year, which they can reflect on in the off season and begin early preparations to achieve the goals they set for themselves for next season.
“Overall, it has been a very exciting and invigorating season of Westby gymnastics and I am optimistic about our future,” Timmel said.
In other WIAA Division 2 State Gymnastics news: Viroqua co-op sophomore Lydia Korn (Cashton High School) placed seventh and West Salem co-op senior Ellie Tschumper (West Salem) eighth in the individual all-around competition. Korn posted a score of 35.15 to just edge Tschumper with a 35.1.
Korn’s score on the floor (9.067) tied for fifth overall. She was eighth on the beam (8.917) and ninth on the vault (8.9) and 11th on bars (8.267).
Tschumper’s best performance was on the uneven bars (8.933), floor exercise (8.8), vault (8.8) and balance beam (8.567).
Team wise on Friday, March 2, the Viroqua Co-op placed 10th with a score of 122.7833. Whitefish Bay won the event with a score of 141.7167.
Congratulations to all the area gymnasts on your fine seasons.