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Burlington Chocolate Fest

Aiming for state

December 01, 2010 | 08:29 AM
Burlington — The Burlington/Badger/Wilmot gymnastics squad, also known as BBW, experienced a deep playoff run last year.

The girls were Southern Lakes conference champs, sectional runners-up and finished third at state behind powers Arrowhead and Franklin.

This year, second-year coach Diane Biedrzycki only lost one senior and has the benefit of nine returning performers. She said her team is loaded.

"The last two years, we have had a young team," Biedrzycki said. "Now, our greatest strength is our depth. Any given meet, we will have seven or eight girls ready to go. And they are so much more mature this year. They are taking over as leaders this year, and I don't have to help them along as much."

Perhaps the most notable returner is Badger junior Krystal Cooke, who missed all of last season after being injured in a car accident. As a freshman, Cooke medaled at state in the vault, and Biedrzycki is extra pleased to have Cooke back because the team wasn't strong in vault a season ago.

Joining Cooke in the returning bunch will be Burlington senior Allison Kassel, Burlington juniors Michelle Dankle and Alice Gordon, Badger junior Kerry Leonard, Badger sophomore Nicole Johnson, Burlington sophomore Lauren Otter and Wilmot sophomore Marlee Brunow. Otter, Brunow and Leonard were on the all-state team last year.

Burlington freshman Aubrey Weinhammer should be a solid varsity newcomer on the vault and bars, according to Biedrzycki.

"We have a good 13 kids overall," Biedrzycki said. "There are even junior varsity kids vying for varsity spots."

Kassel and Leonard will be team captains, and Biedrzycki said they're assuming leadership roles. Biedrzycki has high hopes for this season.

"Our goal is to be in the top two at state," she said. "The state field will be strong again. Even getting back to state will be good, though. Our sectional is so tough with Franklin, Janesville Craig and Westosha Central. And the SLC will be strong this year, but it is our goal to win it."

Biedrzycki said the floor and beam events will once again be the team's strongest. However, with the addition of Cooke, the vault scores will improves and will help the overall team score.

"The vault and bars have usually been our weakness," Biedrzycki said. "But they are a lot stronger this year."

Also, team chemistry will be a plus this year.

"These girls have been together for a long time," Biedrzycki said. "They know each other well and are supportive of each other."

BBW will have its first meet Thursday against Mukwonago. Biedrzycki said it's too early to expect much.

"My goal is to see how the routines look," she said. "We want to get the kinks out and have some fun. We're not 100 percent yet."

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