Badger freshman Ava Trent glides through the bars at Saturday’s Emerald Invite. (Rick Benavides/SLN)


By Troy Sparks

Sports Correspondent

Freshman Malia Bronson and sophomore Regan Cassidy led the Burlington Co-op gymnastics team to a fourth-place team finish at the Pam Beck Emerald Classic Invitation, Jan. 6 at Waterford.

The 135.3 team points that BUW scored placed them in the middle of the eight-team event.

Franklin Combined won the meet with 144 points. Brookfield Combined (138.6) got second place and Kenosha Combined (136.2) was third. Following BUW was host Waterford (124.8), Milton (123.5), Port Washington (117.2) and West Allis Combined (109.6).

Cassidy’s highest finish in her five events was on the uneven bars. She placed second with an average score of 9.45. Cassidy finished in a three-way tie for third on the balance beam with a 9.35.

She was fifth in the all-around exercise and a 9.15 score in the floor exercise was good for sixth place. Cassidy finished in the bottom third of the vaulting event (30th) with a score of 7.55.

Bronson had a better score from the first judge (9.25) than Brookfield Combined sophomore Lexi Penney (9.40) and Cassidy (9.45) on the balance beam and led the three-way tie for third. She was fourth in the floor exercise (9.275) and seventh in the all-around. Bronson slipped to a tie for 12th place in the uneven bars (8.4) and a tie for 33rd on the vaults (7.4).

“We had ups and downs on each event throughout the day, which gives the girls lots of room to improve for our two meets next week,” BUW coach Andrea Chart said. “Right now, we are focusing on being more competition ready. Our skills are there for the most part, but we still struggle to perform them consistently and nerves seem to win the battle when the pressure of competition is there.”

Junior Jessica Zeitler was 15th on the uneven bars (8.25), tied for 20th on the balance beam (8.075), 23rd in the floor exercise (8.075) and finished in a tie for 24th on the vaults (7.7).

Junior Carly Schaefer was 31st on the uneven bars (5.85), 23rd on the beam (7.8), 20th in the floor event (8.35) and posted her best finish on the vaults with an 8.55 score, which was good for a tie for seventh place.

Freshman Ava Trent had her best finish in the vault at fourth (8.95). She finished in a tie for 14th (8.65) on the beam, a tie for 17th in the floor exercise (8.475) and 31st on the uneven bars (5.6).

“Our three newcomers (Ava, Malia and Regan) are very talented, but also very young,” Chart said. “I am looking for more leadership from my three juniors (Mari Trent, Schaefer and Zeitler) to help set the tone for success at meets the rest of the season.”

The Trent sisters didn’t compete in the dual meet at Whitewater last Wednesday. Senior Grace Bahr competed in her first varsity meet in the all-around and she helped BUW win their first conference dual meet over the Whippets. Mari didn’t compete in the Emerald Invite because she was at a DECA Tournament.