MHS gymnasts win Cardinal Invite

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Rob Reischel
Mattie Joers and Middleton’s girls gymnastics team won the Cardinal Invite last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s girls gymnastics team performs before a standing-only-room only crowd most nights in the school’s “small gym.”

Last Saturday, the Cardinals took their act to the “big gym” — and put on a show in there, as well.

Middleton won the highly-competitive, eight-team Cardinal Invite with a team score of 136.675. Waukesha North’s co-op was second (135.65) and Verona/Madison Edgewood was third (133.075).

The event also raised more than $400 for the Pancreatic Cancer Coalition. Every gymnast competed with a purple ribbon in their hair to show support for pancreatic cancer, and coaches all wore a "Cardinal Strong" wristbands.

Middleton athletic director Bob Joers is battling pancreatic cancer.

“The Cardinal Invite is such a fun event every year,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said. “It's neat to see the girls shine and represent their school on the 'big stage' in the varsity gym. Our joke this year is to "pack the small gym" which we've done every home meet, so to bring a meet into the varsity gym is a lot of fun.”

Middleton’s dynamic duo of Taylor Engelkes and Megg Weiler both had terrific days.

Engelkes won the all-around competition with a 35.0 score. Engelkes was first on the floor exercise (9.05) and the vault (8.75), was third on the balance beam (8.90) and fourth on the uneven bars (8.30).

Weiler was second in the all-around with a 34.625. Weiler was first on the uneven bars (8.725), fifth on both the vault (8.45) and balance beam (8.85) and 10th on the floor exercise (8.60).

“Taylor and Megg are quite the duo,” Steck said. “They are so strong and want to better themselves on each event for the purpose of increasing the team score, rather than focusing on their individual scores.

“They’ve both been adding difficulty into their routines and working hard to get new skills. Going into tournament season, these two gymnasts' consistency and leadership will help lead the team.”

Middleton had several other stellar performances, as well.

Ella Mock was third on the balance beam (8.90) and Emily Bernd was 12th (8.20). Lexi Quartaro was 12th on the floor exercise (8.50) and Bernd was 14th (8.475).

Mock was third on the uneven bars (8.375) and Lucy Hellenbrand was fourth (8.30). And Quartaro was ninth on the vault (8.250) and Bernd was 17th (8.050).

“Ella Mock and Emily Bernd are also two consistent rocks that we've been able to rely on all year and who continue to be consistent forces,” Steck said. “They are both just so calm and confident, and it really shows on the equipment and the other girls look up to them for it.

“Senior Mattie Joers continues to strive on vault for us. Freshman Lexi Quartaro is helping boost our team score on vault and floor, and freshmen Jayden Mathias and Lucy Hellenbrand are both back from injuries and haven't let it slow them down one bit. The strength of the underclassmen is really incredible this year.”

With the postseason quickly approaching, Middleton is trending upward at the perfect time.

The Cardinals travel to Madison East/LaFollette Thursday at 6:30 p.m., then are at Madison Memorial for the Big Eight Conference meet Feb. 22 beginning at 10:15 a.m.

Middleton will host a sectional Feb. 29 at 11 a.m., then the state meet is March 6-7 in Wisconsin Rapids.

“The girls are peaking at just the right time, but we're confident they haven't hit their very best yet,” Steck said. “They are all adding in new skills, and as they get more comfortable and confident with these skills I'd anticipate their scores to go even higher.”

• Middleton 136.175, Madison Memorial 135.90 — The Cardinals edged the Spartans in a Big Eight Conference meet on Feb. 6.

Engelkes led Middleton by winning the vault (8.975) and the all-around (34.650).


Feb. 8

Cardinal Invite
Team scores:
 Middleton 136.675; Waukesha North co-op 135.65; Verona/Madison Edgewood 133.075; Mukwonago/Wales Kettle Moraine 130.925; Madison West 125.425; Platteville co-op 124.675; Wisconsin Rapids 120.275; Viroqua 118.275.

Balance beam: 1, Wagner, WN, 9.15; 2, Korns, WN, 9.075; 3 (tie), Mock, Mid, and Engelkes, Mid, 8.9; 5, Weiler, Mid, 8.85.

Floor exercise: 1, Engelkes, Mid, 9.05; 2, Wagner, WN, 9.0; 3, Wayer, WN, 8.95; 4 (tie), Korns, WN, Meszarosch, MKM, and Dohnal, VME, 8.85.

Uneven bars: 1, Weiler, Mid, 8.725; 2, Fischer, VME, 8.55; 3, Mock, Mid, 8.375; 4 (tie), Wagner, WN, Engelkes, Mid, and Hellenbrand, Mid, 8.3.

Vault: 1, Engelkes, Mid, 8.75; 2, Dohnal, VME, 8.7; 3, Meszarosch, MKM, 8.7; 4, Crowley, VME, 8.6; 5, Weiler, Mid, 8.45.

All-around: 1, Engelkes, Mid, 35.0; 2, Weiler, Mid, 34.625; 3, Meszarosch, MKM, 34.025; 4, Dohnal, VME, 33.8; 5, Crowley, VME, 33.1. At Middleton.


Feb. 6


Balance beam: Schaefer, MM, 8.750. Floor exercise: Yehle, MM, 9.325. Uneven bars: Rios, MM, 8.625. Vault: Engelkes, Mid, 8.975. All-around: Engelkes, Mid, 34.650.



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