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Will vault contain another Pohlman medal?

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Gazette staff
March 1, 2012
— Ashley Pohlman found a silver lining at last year’s WIAA Division 1 state gymnastics meet.

The Janesville Craig junior finished second on vault.


Friday night, Pohlman’s hopes to strike gold.


Pohlman finished fifth at last Saturday’s Burlington Sectional and will be one of 39 gymnasts competing on vault at the state meet in Wisconsin Rapids.


“Ashley knows what she’s capable of and has the ability to challenge for a state title,” Janesville Craig coach Jean Welch said. “She had great success last year at state, and last Saturday, at by far the toughest sectional in the state, she was able to qualify again.


“You get two vaults, so even if the first one is a little off, you still get a chance to stick the second one.”


Pohlman’s vault is a Pike Tsukahara with a 9.8 degree of difficulty. She scored a 9.55 at state a year ago in finishing second to Lauren Zurowski (9.567) of the Franklin co-op team. Zurowski will be back to defend her title, along with four other talented vaulters from the Burlington Sectional.


“Ashley has to get good height off the table and keep good form through the landing,” Welch said. “And if she can stick the landing, she will score well.


“I know there are a couple of gymnasts from our sectional that are doing vaults that are a 10.0 (degree of difficulty), but obviously, those are harder to execute and land.”


In Division 2 competition Friday night, Elkhorn junior Randi Fuller will compete in the all-around. Milton freshman Taylor Kelly qualified on balance beam.


Burlington co-op team heavily favored to win state

Co-op programs have dominated the Division 1 state gymnastics tournament the last 10 years and don’t look for things to change Friday night.


Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot is heavily favored to win the D1 team title. Co-op programs have won nine of the last 10 state titles, with Hartland Arrowhead in 2010 the only non-co-op team to win in the last 10 years.


“That Burlington co-op team is in a different league than everybody else,” Janesville Craig coach Jean Welch said. “And because there are so many club teams nowadays to choose from, I don’t think it’s going to change.


“Our sectional was so strong because of the co-op teams competing, that I had a gymnast, Ashley McGoey, who scored a 9.3 on floor exercise and finished 11th.”


The co-op team of Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/ Whitnall is the defending champion in Division 1, while Whitefish Bay won the Division 2 team title a year ago.


Four individual champions return in Division 1, including Sun Prairie’s Sydney Steiner, who is seeking her third straight title on uneven bars.



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