Janesville66.3°

Whitson springs a surprise

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Gazette staff
February 16, 2008
— Janesville Parker freshman Erika Whitson surprised some people, including her coach, at the Big Eight Conference gymnastics meet here Saturday at Madison Memorial.

Parker High coach Cathy Lehmann was handing out the medals for the balance beam. And much to her surprise, Whitson popped up as the champion.


“Middleton is strong and so deep, I was expecting a Middleton kid to win it,’’ Lehmann said. “Then, when we got to first place, I said, ‘I haven’t give Erika her medal yet. Where is she?’ ’’


And there she was—to accept the gold.


With everything that’s happening in a big meet, it’s not unusual for a coach to be in that postion. Nonetheless, it was a welcome surprise for Lehmann.


Whitson made it happen by posting a 9.05 score in the only event that wasn’t won by Middleton senior Tesa Pulvermacher.


“She was very consistent, with a lot of difficulty in her routine,’’ Lehman said of Whitson’s performance in the balance beam. “She was very clean with good execution and aptitude.’’


Whitson also took second in floor exercise with 9.25 and third on the uneven bars at 8.825, giving her second place behind Pulvermacher in all-aound with 35.35.


Janesville Craig had a 133.05 to take second place behind repeat champion Middleton’s 141.9 in team scoring. Parker was fourth at 123.45.


Allisyn Hall led Craig with a fourth-place finish of 8.55 on the balance beam and a seventh-place tie on the vault (8.65). Katharine Cullen of the Cougars was fifth in floor exercise (9.1), sixth on the bars (8.125) and sixth in all-around (33.95), while teammate Nicole Buggs tied for fifth on the balance beam (8.5).


“Overall, as a team, we had a good day,” Craig coach Jean Welch said. “We had three girls make it to the medal stand, so we medaled in every event.


“We had a couple of falls, which we’ll have take care of before the sectional, but it was one of our better team scores and just about what we expected.’’


Parker’s team score gave the Vikings a victory over Madison East/La Follette as replacement for dual meet was canceled because of the weather. That lifted Parker to 4-2 in the dual standings behind Middleton at 6-0 and Craig at 5-1.


Craig and Parker will compete at 4 p.m. Friday in the WIAA sectional at Middleton, where the top two teams and first five individuals in each event will qualify for the Divison 1 state meet.


Big Eight gymnastics


At Madison Memorial


TEAM SCORES


Middleton 141.9. Janesville Craig 133.05, Madison West 125.6, Janesville Parker 123.45, Madison East/La Follette 122.275, Sun Prairie 94.1, Madison Memorial 90.875.


INDIVIDUAL RESULTS


Vault—1. Tesa Pulvermacher (Mid), 9.4; 2. Claire Flickinger (Mid), 9.025; 3. Katie Kutchin (Mid), 8.925; 4. Libby Torresani (Mid), 8.9; 5. Talia Crabb (Mid), 8.825; 6. Lindsey Parker (ME/L), 8.75; 7. Allisyn Hall (JC) and Bri Imse (ME/L), tied, 8.65.


Uneven bars—1. Pulvermacher (Mid), 9.125; 2. Flickinger (Mid), 8.9; 3. Erika Whitson (JP), 8.825; 4. Kutchin (Mid), 8.675; 5. Torresani (Mid), 8.35; 6. Katharine Cullen (JC), 8.125; 7. Hannah King (ME/L), 8.075; 8. Parker (ME/L), 7.952.


Balance beam—1. Whitson (JP), 9.05; 2. Parker (ME/L) and Torresani (Mid), tied, 8.7; 4. Hall (JC), 8.55; 5. Crabb (Mid) and Nicole Buggs (JC), tied, 8.5; 7. King (ME/L), 8.45; 8. Cullen (JC), 8.35.


Floor exercise—1. Pulvermacher (Mid), 9.5; 2. Whitson (JP), 9.25; 3. Flickinger (Mid) and Kutchin (Mid), tied, 9.2; 5. Cullen (JC), 9.1; 6. Crabb (Mid), 9.0; 7. Hall (JC), 8.9; 8. Torresani (Mid), 8.725.


All-around— 1. Pulvermacher (Mid), 36.275; 2. Whitson (JP), 35.35; 3. Kutchin (Mid), 35.05; 4. Torresani (Mid), 35.675; 5. Flickinger (Mid), 34.475; 6. Cullen (JC), 33.95; 7. Parker (ME/L), 33.825; 8. Crabb (Mid), 33.675.



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