Former BHS state champ qualifies on bars for defending national champs

Burlington High School 2015 graduate Bailey Fitzpatrick (middle) cheers on her Warhark teammates this season. Fitzpatrick, who won six state titles as a Demon, will compete on bars at nationals. (Mike Mcloone/SLN)


By Mike Ramczyk

Bailey Fitzpatrick, a former state champion for the Burlington High School gymnastics team (BUW), is a member of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater gymnastics team, which is set to compete this Friday and Saturday at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Championships at Springfield College’s Blake Arena in Springfield, Mass.

Fitzpatrick, a 2015 BHS graduate, was a member of the lauded “Big Three” star gymnastics trio with sister Jenna and Molly Benavides. The girls rewrote the record books and nearly brought the Demons a team state championship in 2013.

Bailey won six individual state gymnastics championships in her illustrious high school career.

She was voted the 2013 Burlington Standard Press Female Athlete of the Year.

Friday’s NCGA Championship, which includes team and all-around competition, begins at 4 p.m. Central Time. Saturday’s Individual Event Finals start at 3 p.m. Central Time.

All competition will be streamed live on

The Warhawks are the defending national champions, claiming last year’s title, their fourth in program history, with a score of 191.000, nearly three points ahead of runner-up UW-La Crosse. Lisa O’Donnell(Berwyn, Ill./Morton West) claimed the all-around national title, and the team collectively earned 13 more All-America honors at the Individual Event Finals the next day.

UW-Whitewater enters this weekend’s national meet after finishing second at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship/NCGA West Regional March 4.

The team qualified for the NCGA Championship by virtue of its top-three finish at the regional meet and seeks its 12th straight finish among the nation’s top five.

The Warhawks currently own the nation’s fourth-best season average score at 189.061. They lead the nation on the uneven bars (47.156) and rank second on floor exercise (48.003), fifth on vault (47.250) and seventh on balance beam (46.664).

O’Donnell garnered five first team All-America accolades last season. She looks to defend her title in the all-around Friday, and will compete on bars and floor during Saturday’s Individual Event Finals after finishing among the top five in season average score and at the regional meet in both. O’Donnell holds a nation-leading SAS of 9.622 on bars and owns a 9.694 on floor.

Fitzpatrick, a junior, joins Mierow and O’Donnell on bars. She earned her spot at the national meet with an SAS of 9.525.

Senior Chloe Rehberg (Cary, IL/Cary-Grove) and sophomore Lauren Marshall (Winthrop Harbor, Ill./Zion-Benton Township) will represent UW-Whitewater on vault. Rehberg, a two-time All-American in the event and the national runner-up in 2015, tied for second at the regional meet.