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Gymnasts make case for state's top team


Demons win stacked invite, beat defending D1 champ Arrowhead



WESTOSHA CENTRAL INVITE Team scores 1, Burlington/Badger/Wilmot 142.425. 2, Franklin 141.4. 3, Janesville Parker 140.2. 4, Kenosha 139.375. 5, Arrowhead 138.425. 6, Janesville Craig 138.325. 7, Westosha 130.975. 8, Milton 129.375. 9, Southwestern 123.65. 10, Waterford 119.25.
January 12, 2011 | 08:35 AM
Paddock Lake — When the Wisconsin high school state gymnastics rankings are released later this week, the Burlington/Badger/Wilmot squad may very well be at the top looking down in Division 1.

Thanks to another stellar week where the girls won the Westosha Central Saturday and toppled Franklin last Thursday, the Demons will most likely earn a No. 1 ranking in the state, according to BBW coach Diane Biedrzycki. And her girls have earned all the accolades.

"On Saturday, we beat the top two teams in the state from last year," she said. "Actually, the top six teams there were really tough. Although we don't really talk about it, we know we are the top team in the state right now. Going into Saturday, the girls made a goal to win the invite, and they did. I'm happy to get a win."

BBW posted a solid day in the first three events, vault, bars and floor. They led the field entering the final event, beam, and held on for the victory with solid performances by Burlington's Michelle Dankle and Lauren Otter.

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Dankle was tied for third in the all-around with Kenosha's Lindsey Maier at 36.325.

BBW posted a 142.425 to edge second-place Franklin a little more than a full point (141.4).

"Before the beam, I reminded them we had handled this type of pressure all year," Biedrzycki said. "We didn't have a great showing on beam. Dankle was competing with a sprained ankle, which is an old injury from middle school. It was a solid win."

The local girls showed good balance, with four girls medaling. Allison Kassel was seventh in the bars (9.025). Like she has all season, Dankle, a junior, did it all, medaling in bars with a fourth-place, season-high finish of 9.175.

Also, Dankle took fifth on the beam (9.1) and fourth on the floor (9.3).

Badger junior Krystal Cooke grabbed fifth on the vault with a solid score of 9.25.

Finally, Burlington's Lauren Otter nabbed sixth place on the beam with a 9.025.

BBW staved off other solid showings from Janesville Parker (140.2), Kenosha (139.375) and last year's Division 1 state champion, Arrowhead (138.425).

On the season, Burlington is a perfect 5-0 in dual meets and has won both of their invites.

Biedrzycki said much of the success has to do with maturity.

"These girls have grown up a lot since last year," she said. "The difference is neat to see. They are really handling the jitters at each meet. They have improved a lot."

The Demons will host Elkhorn Thursday, a match Biedrzycki believes her team will win.

BBW 140.75, Franklin 140.05

In a close contest last Thursday at Karcher Middle School in Burlington, the Demons edged their arch nemesis.

Kassel won the all-around with a 35.525, followed in second by Dankle (35.275).

Badger's Kerry Leonard was the team's next finisher in sixth with a 26.675. Biedrzycki said the floor event was the difference.

"We were .025 ahead of them going into the floor, which was the last event," she said. "I told them to stay confident, and all five girls were solid."

The Demons came back and earned the victory after a slow start on vault which gave the Sabers an early advantage.

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