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Lehmann faces a selection challenge at Janesville Parker

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Gazette staff
December 9, 2010
— Cathy Lehmann has a problem that any coach would love to have.

The Janesville Parker gymnastics coach has 12 quality gymnasts on her roster. The problem is that only five are allowed to compete in each of the four varsity events, as well as the all-around.


Lehmann, the dean of Big Eight Conference coaches, looks forward to the competition between those 12 in trying to find the right combination for each event.


“Because of how close the current skill levels are, it will be a challenge deciding who the top five or six varsity competitors will be in each event for any given meet,” Lehmann said.


“And that’s where the strength of our team is. Our depth, and an experienced upper class.”


The Vikings finished third in the Big Eight last season and open the conference portion of the 2010-11 season tonight at Verona.


Seniors Erika Whitson and Emily Mauermann headline the list of returnees. Whitson is the school’s all-time top performer on balance beam, floor exercise and uneven bars. Mauermann is the third-best vaulter in school history, and also ranks in the top 10 on bars, beam and floor exercise.


Another senior, Nicole Popovich, will add depth on vault and floor exercise.


Lehmann also is counting on a strong junior class to help the Vikings contend for a possible conference title and a state team berth. Meredith Little tops the list of juniors, ranking eighth in school history on vault. Other juniors expected to make big contributions are Caroline Mitchell on uneven bars and beam, Jenna Carr on beam, Kristin Zeilinger on beam and Rachael Hearn on uneven bars.


“Our goals are to be one of the top teams in the conference, and have one of the highest team total scores in the history of Parker High School gymnastics,” Lehmann said. “And I think we’ve got the talent and depth to accomplish those goals.”


A strong freshmen class adds to the Vikings’ depth throughout the lineup. Hailey Leisten, Rylee Jonuska, Brecklyn Skaleski and Cara Fleming are all-around candidates who could crack any of the varsity events at some point.


Parker’s schedule:

DECEMBER: 9—At Verona, 6 p.m.; 11—At Janesville Craig Invitational, 11 a.m.; 16—Madison Memorial, 6 p.m.; 21—At Elkhorn, 6:30 p.m.


JANUARY: 6—At Middleton, 6 p.m.; 8—At Westosha Central Invitational, 10 a.m.; 11—Milton, 6 p.m.; 13—Madison West, 6 p.m.; 20—At Janesville Craig, 7 p.m.; 26—At Madison La Follette/Madison East co-op, 7 p.m.; 29—At Whitewater Invitational, 11 a.m.


FEBRUARY: 3—Sun Prairie, 6 p.m.; 19—Big Eight Conference meet, at Parker, 10 a.m.; 26—WIAA sectional, at Janesville Craig.



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