Four-school roster highlighted by solid senior core
By Mike Ramczyk
Even powerhouse programs go through transitional seasons – if you can call it that.
For the first time this decade, the Burlington/Badger/Wilmot varsity gymnastics squad didn’t send a single athlete to the state tournament last season.
Longtime head coach Diane Biedrzycki stepped down after nearly 20 years of success, including four consecutive state runner-up finishes at the team state tournament, along with multiple individual state champions.
Andrea Hegemann took over as head coach, and lowered expectations still yielded a Southern Lakes Conference championship.
The Demons won the SLC meet and were undefeated in SLC duals, but reality set in when BBW placed fifth at team sectionals in February.
It’s a new era for the program, which features six athletes from Lake Geneva Badger, four from Wilmot and three each from Burlington and Union Grove.
Burlington only lost two gymnasts to graduation and returns seven varsity performers, including conference champion Mia Trent (Badger) and fellow seniors Hailey Siegler (Badger), Kenzie Terry (Burlington) and Allie Miller (Union Grove).
With one year as head coach under her belt, Hegemann is poised to send several girls back to Wisconsin Rapids to compete at the state level.
“We have a lot of strength in our senior class, both in their leadership and their talent in gymnastics,” she said. “We hope to be successful in conference duals and go undefeated as well as win the conference meet again.”
“After not sending an individual to state for the first time in several years, the girls are eager for redemption and hope to be back up in Rapids representing our team come March.”
Sophomores Mari Trent (Badger) and Carly Schaefer (Union Grove), who took third in vault at conference and fifth in bars last year, respectively, are key returners along with Burlington senior Brooke Flesch.
Hegemann said the team’s strengths will be floor and beam, where Siegler, Terry and Miller will lead the way.
“On floor and beam, we really focus on show and precision of skills,” Hegemann said. “Several of the seniors have four years of varsity experience, and I expect them to be very confident and determined in their final seasons.”
Hegemann added that the team must improve on bars, where the skills simply aren’t at the level of other teams. She said newcomer Jessica Zeitler, a sophomore from Wilmot, will help fill a void on bars.
Badger’s Grace Bahr, Courtney Armstrong and Isabelle Carter, Wilmot’s Abby Moldenhauer, Victoria Livingston and Brylee Kruchko, Union Grove’s Samantha Roushia and Burlington’s Mollie Fox round out the team roster.
BBW opens its season Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Franklin Invite.
(HOME MEETS AT KARCHER MIDDLE SCHOOL, BURLINGTON)
December – 21: WAUKESHA WEST. January – 5: ELKHORN. 7: Pam Beck Invite at Waterford. 10: KENOSHA TREMPER. 14: at Franklin Invite. 24: at Waterford. 28: at Madison Memorial Invite. 31: at Jefferson. February – 9: WHITEWATER. 17: Confere