Parker gymnastics earns crosstown win over Craig

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John Barry
Friday, February 14, 2014

JANESVILLE--Janesville Parker’s gymnastics team picked the perfect night to post its best score of the season.

Led by another outstanding all-around effort from senior Hailey Leisten, the Vikings hit a season-high score of 132.15 to defeat crosstown rival Janesville Craig on Thursday. The Cougars finished with 130.3, but struggled on balance beam and uneven bars, which allowed the Vikings to prevail in the Big Eight Conference dual meet.

Leisten won the floor exercise with a score of 9.0 and uneven bars with a 9.0, and capped off her night by winning the all-around with a score of 35.475.

“The scores between these two teams have been so close in years past that we just wanted to come in here tonight focused and ready to go,” Leisten said. “Im really excited that we won, but there’s always room for improvement and things to work on.

“Personally, I’m pleased with all my events tonight, but probably more with bars and beam. I got a 9.0 on bars, and that’s one of my highest scores this year.”

Parker senior Cara Fleming started the night off by tying Craig’s Michelle Cagney for first on vault with a score of 8.35. The Vikings’ Brecklyn Skaleski added a win on balance beam with a solid 9.4, and Leisten followed that up with wins on uneven bars and floor exercise. Leisten and Skaleski finished 1-2 in the all-around.

“At 1:30 this afternoon I lost a varsity gymnast, so I was kind of scrambling last minute to fill out a lineup for tonight,” Parker first-year coach Heidi Jegerlehner said. “So to come out and get our highest score of the season is really exciting.

“We had a couple of falls on beam, but other than that, the girls did a great job. Some girls were throwing new moves into their routines tonight and it paid off.”

Craig, which finished 3-4 in Big Eight duals, had a first from Cagney on vault and third-place finishes on all-four individual events.

“We had a really good day on floor with one of our highest scores of the season, and a pretty good day on vault,” Craig coach Jean Welch said. “Sara Malmanger had a really nice beam routine, and all of the girls performed well on floor.”

Craig competes in the Mukwonago Invitational on Saturday.

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