Gymnasts win opening meet

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MTT News Desk's picture
Rob Reischel
Bianca Bakkar and Middleton’s girls gymnastics team opened their season with a win last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Kari Egan-Steck always has great expectations. But Middleton’s girls gymnastics coach likes to temper them for the first meet each season.

This year, that probably wasn’t necessary.

The Cardinals opened their season last Tuesday with an impressive 134.625-132.275 win over visiting Mount Horeb.

“With the first meet you never really know what to expect,” Egan-Steck said. “But I think that the girls definitely exceeded my expectations. They had a phenomenal meet.”

These two programs know each other well from club gymnastics and traditionally open the season against each other. It leads to a meet that’s usually more friendly than fiery.

“It is a low stress, friendly meet that the girls have a lot of fun with,” Egan-Steck said.

Middleton junior Aryn Skibba had a terrific first meet, winning the all-around competition with a score of 36.250. Skibba was first in the balance beam (8.80), the floor exercise (9.10), the uneven bars (9.10) and the vault (9.250).

“Aryn Skibba had a great meet, and really made a statement for how the season is going to go for her,” Egan-Steck said. “Despite a fall on beam she finished all events strongly. 

“Aryn has a lot of new and exciting skills she has been working on that she didn't compete on Tuesday, but expect her scores to increase as the season goes on.”

Middleton sophomore Lucy Bergenthal was fourth in the all-around (33.80). Bergenthal was third on the beam (8.225), third on the vault (9.0), fourth on the uneven bars (8.50) and sixth on the floor (8.075) 

“Lucy Bergenthal stuck her vaults for the first time and had what I think are some of the best routines of her career,” Egan-Steck said. “She has grown so much over the year and summer, and she is definitely wanting to make a name for herself.”

Senior Bianca Bakkar had a solid meet and was fifth in the all-around (33.10). Bakkar was third on the uneven bars (9.0), fifth on the vault (8.80), sixth on the beam (7.350), seventh on the floor (7.950).

Freshman Katherine Marshall was also seventh in the all-around (29.725). And junior Gabby Aranda was fifth on the uneven bars (8.350).

“I think each one of the girls had a great meet, and I am very proud of them for it,” Egan-Steck said. “I believe you practice how you perform, and the girls showed how hard they have been practicing.

“I think the girls wanted to make a statement and set the bar for the year, and they definitely did just that. I think big things will be seen from the Cardinals this year.”

• On deck: Middleton is off until Dec. 18, when it travels to Madison West at 6 p.m.

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