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FMOW gymnasts claim conference title, set sight on WIAA honors

Two-time state champs' depth overwhelms field

Feb. 15, 2013

The first of the major goals for the Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall girls gymnastics team has been achieved, as the local co-op won four of five events and swept to an easy title in the Southeast/Classic 8 Conference meet Feb. 14.

"Overall, it went pretty well," coach Katie Moore said, "There are still things for us to work on. We don't want to be perfect just yet. The scoring was a little low last night, and that was good for the girls to see, because things will be tightening up in the next few weeks."

As FMOW begins its run toward a third straight WIAA State Division 1 team championship.

That effort begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday with the WIAA sectional meet at Waukesha West.

There, for the umpteenth time this season, FMOW will run into its old regional and state rivals, the Burlington co-op. The two teams are overwhelming favorites to claim the two automatic WIAA state team berths and will likely eat up most of the five individual state positions available in all events and the all-around.

"It is a little unfair that is that way," Moore said. "They could split us up."

The state meet is in Wisconsin Rapids on March 1 and 2.

"The girls are pretty focused on this," Moore said. "We started upon this goal (state championships) two years ago. It's the number one goal. The attitude is where it needs to be, all they need to do is the work."

FMOW scored 147.825 points to claim the title in the conference test as a good Mukwonago/Kettle Moraine team was second with 140.55.

Freshman Sam Balcerak of Muskego led the way as she won the all-around with a 36.6 score while also tying for first on the balance beam with a 9.225 mark.

Other individual firsts for FMOW included Lauren Zurowski of Whitnall in floor exercise (9.625) and Sammie Olson of Muskego taking the uneven bars (9.4).

Elsewhere, as usual, FMOW's hard-to-match depth took over as they dominated the top six places in nearly all events.

Floor exercise was the best overall event as the team combined for a 37.825 mark as behind Zurowski, Shannon Hein of Muskego was second (9.6), while Balcerak and Rachel Tillman of Whitnall tied for fourth (9.3).

Elsewhere, on beam, Alyssa Behrendt of Muskego was third (9.2), while Olson was fourth (9.05) and Zurowski was sixth (8.85).

On the bars, the team took five of the first six places, as behind Olson, Becca Teska of Franklin and Paige Schreiber of Muskego (9.2) were part of a three-way tie for second, while Behrendt was fifth (9.15) and Balcerak was sixth (9.075).

And on vault, all FMOW did was merely take second through sixth, as Zurowski was second (9.275), Olson third (9.2), Teska fourth (9.15), Jessica Kossoris of Franklin fifth (9.1) and Balcerak sixth (9.0).

"Our depth is what we hang our hat on," Moore said. "We can easily go six deep in any event. We'll just keep using it as much as possible."

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