Weaver, Ball advance to Division 1 meet with standout sectional finishes
Renae Weaver and Catie Ball are going to the WIAA Division 1 state gymnastics meet this week, and their Grafton/Cedarburg team came oh so close to qualifying for the first time in program history.
Grafton/Cedarburg scored a season-high 137.325 points but missed second place by 3/10ths of a point in the Manitowoc Sectional last Saturday.
Sheboygan won the meet with 141 points, and Oshkosh took second and the other qualifying spot with 137.625.
Grafton/Cedarburg coach Ali Pfeiffer said she wouldn’t let her girls look at scores throughout the meet to avoid a lack of concentration on their routines, and the plan worked.
“They kind of knew coming into it that they had a chance at going. I think they kind of focused on that and tried to give it their best,” Pfeiffer said. “They were disappointed. They had a really good meet overall, though.”
Weaver, a senior, qualified for individual competition with first-place performances in the vault (9.4) and uneven bars (9.125).
Ball, a sophomore, advanced with a third-place effort in uneven bars (8.625).
The top five sectional finishes in each event and all-around qualify for state, as do the top two teams. Several other Grafton/Cedarburg gymnasts narrowly missed advancing.
Junior Cathy Brunette placed sixth in the vault (8.775) and uneven bars (8.425).
In the all-around, Grafton/Cedarburg gymnasts went 6-7-8. Weaver scored 35.125, missing fifth by 1/10th of a point, followed by Ball (34.95) and Brunette (34.875).
Weaver returns to state after qualifying in the floor exercise last year but being unable to place in the top six for a medal. This year, Pfeiffer said that could change.
“Renae has a pretty good chance at possibly placing in vault,” she said.
Ball went to state last year, too, but to cheer on her teammate. This time, they both get to participate in the Division 2 finals, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School.
Pirates come up short in Bay Sectional
The Port Washington gymnastics team saw its season end last Friday when it finished sixth out of eight teams in a Division 2 sectional meet at Whitefish Bay.
The Pirates scored 118.825 points after eclipsing 120 in their previous meet.
Port coach Kerri Hunsicker said it was an emotional meet, with seven of her 10 varsity team members giving their last high school gymnastics performances as seniors.
“I know the girls wanted to do well. They finished out the year great,” Hunsicker said.
No Pirates qualified for state, but several had impressive performances.
Port’s top two finishers by event were Claire Kinzer (8.575) and Hannah Greisch in the floor exercise, Kinzer (8.15) and Alex Hunsicker (6.65) in the balance beam, Gabbie Fote (7.275) and Kinzer (7.025) in the uneven bars, and Kinzer (8.5) and Greisch (7.9) in the vault.
Whitefish Bay won the meet with 143.325 points, and Waterford was second with 127.
“I really think the majority of the credit goes to our girls for working hard,” coach Hunsicker said. “A lot our senior girls got new stuff this year that really helped them. That was terrific.”
Hunsicker said her gymnasts were “a great group of girls.”
“We may not always have won, but the community should definitely be proud of these kids because they sure did a great job.”
Image information: GRAFTON/CEDARBURG’S Renae Weaver qualified for this week’s WIAA Division 1 state gymnastics meet by winning two events in sectional competition last Saturday. Weaver, a senior, placed first in the uneven bars (right) and vault. Also qualifying for the state meet was teammate Catie Ball, a sophomore who placed third in the uneven bars. The state meet will be held this Friday and Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids. Photo by Sam Arendt