West Allis - Mixed emotions were felt by the West Allis gymnasts after the WIAA Division 1 Homestead Sectional Meet on Saturday.
Juniors Emily Fuchs and Sara Quesnell finished first and second in the all-around competition, both qualifying for this weekend's state meet at Wisconsin Rapids. They also combined for six other state berths.
The team, however, fell just short in its bid to advance to state, scoring 140.75 points to Hartland Arrowhead's 141.75 and Homestead's 141.3 points. The Warhawks and Highlanders thus claimed the two team qualifying spots and West Allis settled for third.
Keeping team score
"Our parents were keeping scores throughout the meet, and we knew we finished third and would not be going to state as a team," coach John Glass said. "This was very hard on the girls. They all worked hard all season with the goal of going to state as a team.
"I felt very bad for Lauren Walker, our varsity team captain. This turned out to be her last meet, and we all knew she wanted one more meet this year."
West Allis was right in the middle of the battle with Arrowhead and Homestead.
"After three rotations, all the teams were within one point of each other," Glass said. "We had balance beam to go and were hoping to have a good rotation. All five of our girls stayed on beam. There was nothing more for us to do but sit back and watch the final rotation for Arrowhead and Homestead.
"Homestead was on (uneven parallel) bars, and their first girl fell and came up with a low score. We felt if one more girl had an issue or if Arrowhead had a fall or two, we would go to state. To their credit, both schools then stuck all their routines."
Making up somewhat for the disappointment of missing the state team berth was the showing of Fuchs and Quesnell.
Fuchs won the all-around with 37.4 points, while Quesnell, the defending state all-around champion, placed second with 36.85 points.
Fuchs captured the beam championship with 9.475 points and the vaulting crown with 9.45 points. Quesnell came in first in the bars at 9.5 points.
Quesnell also qualified for state in the floor exercise with second place (9.425) and vaulting with fourth place (9.15), while Fuchs advanced in the bars with third place (9.325).
"Emily had misplaced her bar grips and was worried about how she was going to do bars," Glass said. "We had an old pair from two years ago that belonged to a former teammate. She used them and turned in her best score of the year on bars. Those are now her lucky grips and she will be using them at state."
Also on the bars for West Allis, Walker took 23rd (7.95), Haley Gagliano 25th (7.875) and Nicole Larson 40th (6.8). On beam, Quesnell was eighth (8.775), Gagliano 17th (8.35), Kori Huddleston 28th (7.85) and Gabby Raab 36th (7.45).
Fuchs was eighth on floor (9.15), followed by Gagliano in 23rd (8.775), Huddleston 31st (8.525) and Raab 32nd (8.425). In vaulting, Huddleston finished 21st (8.725), Larson 31st (8.45) and Gagliano 37th (8.0).
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