Bay gymnasts fight through inexperience, injury to take fifth at state
Entire team returns next year
In another's eyes, after years of state titles and top three finishes, the fifth place effort of the Whitefish Bay girls gymnastics team at the WIAA D2 State test last Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids would be seen as a disappointment or a lessening of standards.
But in this complete rebuilding year and with one of their best people at well under 100 percent, Mary Liniewski is only seeing the positives.
"I think with essentially the same team coming back, we should be able to improve by another six points," she said of her all-underclassmen squad, "but with what we had, I am greatly satisfied. We started out as a 129-point team this year and at our best we reached 138. We improved so much and that is what we celebrate."
Bay, the defending D2 champion, scored 135.15 points for its spot in the 10-team D2 field as River Falls won with a 142.416 total and Mount Horeb was second with 141.183.
One of the shining moments for Liniewski on Saturday was the effort of freshman all-around Mary Claire Potter, who had struggled mightily in the individual competition Friday night.
Especially on bars. Potter turned an 8.05 score in the individual competition into a spectacular 9.4 in the team competition, the Blue Dukes' highest mark of the two-day event.
"That was just amazing," she said.
Liniewski was also very pleased with the floor exercise.
"We had started out on beam, which was very hard on the team," she said, "but then we went over to floor and just killed it."
Potter had an 8.967, Eileen Demet an 8.667 and Paris Limberatos an 8.417 to highlight the floor showing.
Vault was actually Bay's highest scoring event in the team competition with a 34.9 mark as Limberatos had an 8.867, Demet an 8.767, Potter 8.733 and Sarah Kenlay 8.533.
Stalwart Bay performer Lucy Anzia was greatly limited in what she could do because of a back injury that manifested itself before the sectional competition the previous week.
"Given that, fifth was nothing to complain about," Liniewski said. "Lucy had only two events (beam and bars) and she wasn't close to peak form. She means so much to this team."
In the individual competition the night before, the best the Blue Dukes could manage was an eighth from Limberatos in vault (9.033), while Demet was 13th (8.9) in the same event.
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