WISCONSIN RAPIDS — It was only fitting Middleton’s Madeline Pflasterer-Jennerjohn ended her senior season on Saturday exactly where she started it: on the uneven bars.
She sustained a serious ankle sprain in her first meet, which kept her from competing much of the regular season. In the meantime, Pflasterer-Jennerjohn spent much of her recovery time practicing on the uneven bars — the only activity that didn’t aggravate the injury.
Pflasterer-Jennerjohn’s practice paid off Saturday. In the final event of her high school career, she earned the WIAA Division 1 state gymnastics title on the bars with a score of 9.30.
The victory came a day after Pflasterer-Jennerjohn showed an uncharacteristic flaw in her performance on the bars during state team events.
“Yesterday in the team competition, she hit her feet on her overshoot, which is something she hasn’t done all year,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said. “I know after (Friday’s) bars she was a little upset about that.
“Today, she was just so determined. Right before she went on bars, she said to us, ‘If I don’t hold my feet up on my overshoot, don’t feed me dinner.’ ”
Reflecting on her career at Middleton, Pflasterer-Jennerjohn had nothing but praise for the program.
“Honestly, it’s been amazing,” she said. “I really couldn’t ask for a better team or better coaches.”
Other state champions were Kenosha Bradford co-op senior Samantha Weyker in the all-around (37.967), Brookfield East/Central senior Caitlin Locante with a Division 1 state record 9.750 score on floor exercise, Weyker and Franklin co-op senior Abigail Missiaen on vault (9.80), and Brookfield freshman Lexi Penney on beam (9.55).
Madison East/La Follette’s senior Celia Ramsey placed third on bars (9.267) and junior teammate Tyra Turner placed fifth in the floor exercise (9.40). Both were pleased with their podium finishes.
“I’m super content,” Turner said. “I had no expectations coming here; I just wanted to do the best I could. I was not expecting to place at all, so I’m really happy I did.”
In Division 2, Dodgeville/Mineral Point freshman Miah Lemanski shocked everyone — including herself, she said — by placing fifth in the all-around (35.60), fourth in vaulting (8.967) and sixth on beam (8.950).
“I just felt like a complete underdog coming in, and now to see that all my hard work has paid off, it’s a dream come true,” Lemanski said.
Finishing just behind Lemanski in sixth-place in the all-around was Mount Horeb junior Krista Taylor (35.483). River Valley junior Caroline Iausly finished sixth in floor exercise (9.267).
“Overall it was a good performance, and I was really happy how everything turned out,” Taylor said.
Whitefish Bay senior Aly Yurkowitz came one gold medal away from a complete sweep. She won the all-around (37.917), beam (9.367), bars (9.433) and vault (9.483). The only event Yurkowitz did not top was the floor exercise, which was won with a state meet-record performance by River Falls junior Sam Krueger (9.833).