Bronsons leading way, Murphy joins team

Maddy Bronson competes in recent action for BUW. She won the All-Around at the Kenosha Invite last weekend. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)

 

By Mike Ramczyk

sports@southernlakesnewspapers.com

The Burlington Co-Op gymnastics squad, which is currently dominated by Lake Geneva Badger and Williams Bay student-athletes, continues to improve with each meet.

And varsity head coach Andrea Chart may want to head to the store and buy a lottery ticket after this week.

Already boasting a third-place finish at state from last season, the team’s three top performers are a year better this season.

Then, Maddy Bronson, a committed college gymnast, falls into the team’s lap for her first, and last, season of high school competition.

Now, another strong performer is joining the Demons.

On Jan. 24 after Burlington crunched visiting Whitewater, 140.975-120.975, Chart said a new girl is joining the team, and she is on the same skill level of Bronson, this year’s best performer.

A mid-year transfer, Annie Murphy is another Level 10 gymnast like Bronson.

She attended Badger High School first semester and will now be going to Williams Bay.

She didn’t come out for the gymnastics team because she wanted to try cheerleading, but now she wants back on the mat.

Murphy hasn’t competed since last year, but Chart is excited to add another varsity-level stud.

Chart said Level 10, where Bronson and Murphy have reached in gymnastics, is just a step below Elite, a level that sees girls compete at an Olympic level.

Now, along with Maddy Bronson and Murphy, BUW will boast Malia Bronson, Regan Cassidy, Ava Trent and freshman Kylie Kramer as a legit varsity gymnasts.

 

One last state run?

This could be the last year where top-level girls all get to be on the same team.

Next year, per WIAA rules, things are changing drastically.

Co-ops are being chopped down in a big way.

Instead of a four-school co-op like BUW has enjoyed for more than a decade, teams will only be able to compete for the state team competition if their total enrollment doesn’t exceed the state’s largest enrollment (Sun Prairie, 2,500).

Basically, you can have two schools that are as big as possible, but three or more schools can’t exceed 2,500 students.

For Burlington High School, that could mean remaining one team or splitting into two.

If the team stays the same, with Burlington, Lake Geneva Badger and Williams Bay schools, that would be roughly 2,800 kids and would be ineligible.

“If it’s two schools, you’re fine, so you could combine Indian Trail (2,000+) and Bradford (2,000+),” Chart said.

“I think I want to do two teams next year. That’s the only way we could compete for team state.”

If BUW stays as currently constructed, it would only be eligible for individual state.

It’s an attempt to find competitive balance, but Chart sees it as an opportunity for junior varsity level girls to see varsity action.

 

BUW reaches season high

Thanks to the event’s best balance beam score, BUW scored a season-high 144.0 Jan. 26 at the prestigious Madison Memorial Invite, and the Demons are inching closer to defending state champion Franklin, which won the event with a 146.875.

Chart said the team is just about at full strength after some early-season injuries.

“We battled through some injuries in the early season,” she said. “Some numbers dropped with some seniors not coming out for the team. We started out slow.”

Cassidy showed she’s back and strong with a 9.275 Saturday on the uneven bars, good for third place.

Cassidy was sixth in the all-around, just behind teammate Ava Trent (35.975).

Maddy Bronson took second in the all-around, with an impressive 37.100.

Franklin’s Holli Anderson won the All-Around with a 37.150.

Maddy Bronson won vault (9.5) and floor (9.55), while sister Malia won beam with a 9.5.