Gymnasts win Cardinal Invite

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Ellen Cottingham helped Middleton's girls gymnastics team win the Cardinal Invite last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

The postseason is right around the corner.

And one thing has become crystal clear — Middleton’s girls gymnastics team is ready for whatever lies ahead.

Middleton won the 10-team Cardinal Invite last Saturday with a season-best score of 139.9250 and edged runner-up Mukwonago/East Troy/Kettle Moraine (139.8250). West Salem/La Crosse Aquinas (133.10), Sun Prairie (131.9750) and Madison West (128.450) rounded out the top five.

One week earlier, Middleton posted a season-best score of 139.750. The Cardinals then bested that total last Saturday.

“For the girls to put up a 139.9250 team score is huge,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said. “After last week, we know the girls did great and we know they stuck their beam routines. But throughout the state everyone knows a little bit of gymnastics is the subjectivity of the scores.

“However, to hit a 139-plus two weeks in a row at huge invitationals shows the state that the girls are really just that talented.”

That was evident again at the Cardinal Invite.

Middleton junior Madeline Pflasterer-Jennerjohn finished second in the all-around competition with a 37.3750 score. Senior Katherine Marshall was also 12th in the all-around (33.20).

Pflasterer-Jennerjohn won the vault with a 9.40, was second on the uneven bars (9.30) and the beam (9.325), and was third on the floor exercise (9.350).

“Madeline had another amazing meet where she stuck her routines solid again,” Steck said. “She is a rock for the team and so incredibly talented.”

Middleton had several other strong performances, as well.

Marshall was 12th on the vault (8.550), sophomore Chloe Young was 13th (8.525) and sophomore Eleanor Mackey was 16th (8.450).

Young was sixth on the uneven bars (8.450), senior Ellen Cottingham was ninth (8.275) and Mackey was 15th (7.975).

Junior Dani Aranda was third on the beam (9.175), Young was fifth (8.90) and Marshall was 12th (8.525).

And Marshall was 10th on the floor exercise (8.650), Aranda was 13th (8.575) and Cottingham was 15th (8.50).

“Dani Aranda had a phenomenal beam routine and earned her very first 9.0,” Steck said. “Other standouts included Katherine Marshall, who had a season-high all-around total, Chloe Young and Eleanor Mackey. It's a young team, and I think they are surpassing and will continue to surpass all expectations set.”

Steck was thrilled with Middleton’s overall performance, but knows the Cardinals will have to better on the uneven bars (34.0) in the coming weeks.

“We had pretty low bar scores, an area we'll be focusing on in the coming weeks,” Steck said. “To get a team score of 139.925 with lower than typical bar scores is amazing. It shows you how motivated the girls are, and how well they support each other.”

Overall, though, it was another meet Steck and her team were extremely happy with.

“For us this was more of a building year,” Steck said. “The girls are consistently hitting their routines and coming together right when we need it.”

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