By Josh Sinclair
March 2, 2016
The Whitewater gymnastics team capped off the regular season with its best performance of the year to post a season-high 190.775 to edge out UW-Lacrosse by .6 points in a WIAC showdown.
The Warhawks’ final tally was the team’s sixth highest mark in program history and the third time the Warhawks have topped a score of 190 this season.
“We had a couple of mistakes in the beginning, but I was so proud how they put them behind them and finished the meet so well,” head coach Jennifer Regan said.
Junior Courtney Pickett posted the all-around score, earning 38.400 to lead the Warhawks, winning the floor exercise and tying for the team’s best score on the balance beam.
“I don’t like to focus on the scores, but instead on whether or not my performance was better than last week,” Pickett said. “But getting good scores is important to help us win.”
The Warhawks did some of their best work from the start. On the vault, the ’Hawks finished with a score of 48.150, good for a season-best. Whitewater took four of the top five spots in the event, led by junior Katie Fiorilli and freshman Destiny Patrick, who tied for the top spot with a mark of 9.725.
Pickett and senior Hannah Lee tied for fourth with matching scores of 9.600, and freshman Lisa O’Donnell recorded a 9.500 to tie for seventh.
O’Donnell led the way for Whitewater on the uneven bars, totaling a mark of 9.575 to place third and help the team score a 46.900. Junior Mackenzie Smith placed fourth with a score of 9.450, followed by Pickett, who was sixth with a contribution of 9.400.
The Warhawks again took the advantage, this time on the balance beam, tallying a score of 47.600. Lee and Pickett led the group with matching scores of 9.600, while senior Kristin Shackleton was next with a 9.550, good for sixth overall.
“I think that each week we continue to make improvements,” Regan said. “We are working on the little things and always getting better.”
The last event of the meet also went the way of the Warhawks as the ’Hawks scored a 48.025 in the floor exercise. Pickett’s mark of 9.800 won the event by a tenth of a point over O’Donnell. Junior Elsa Spitzmueller of Lacrosse was able to nab third, but she was followed by freshman Franchesca Hutton, who registered a 9.625.
Following the meet, Lee, Shackleton and fellow seniors Ginny Ebker, Steffi Heuer, Megan Love, and Amanda Quinn were recognized for their accomplishments after competing in their final home meet of their respective careers.
“Senior day was bittersweet,” Pickett said. “I could tell the seniors wanted to make sure they were soaking in every minute of the day.”
Whitewater begins postseason competition Friday at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference/NCGA West Regional Championship. Whitewater is 5-1 overall in dual competitions and is undefeated in conference. The Warhawks will try and repeat as WIAC champions and capture its fifth team title in the past seven seasons.
“To win the WIAC meet next week we just need to continue believing in ourselves, one another, be very loud at the meet and remember to have fun and enjoy the moment,” Pickett said.
The Warhawks have had success individually at the WIAC meet as well. Pickett will attempt to win her second-consecutive title in the all-round competition; Fiorilli will try and retain her title in the vault, and sophomore Kate Mierow will try to defend her title on the balance beam.
The eight-team meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on March 4th at UW-La Crosse.