By Jennifer Eisenbart
The Burlington Combined gymnastics team may still be trying to figure out which pieces go where, but on Saturday, those pieces fit together pretty well.
Taking three of the top four all-around positions and winning at least two medals on every event in winning the Pam Beck Emerald Invite in Waterford.
The co-op squad finished with a team total of 145.725 – a better score than what the team posted at state in March. BBW had the highest team total on every event as well.
Franklin/Muskego/Whitnall/Oak Creek finished second with 142.85, while Mukwonago/Kettle Moraine was third with 137.925.
“I felt really good about it,” said BBW coach Diane Biedrzycki. “The girls’ goal was just to make improvement somewhere.
“Putting in new skills was exciting. And staying on beam was good.”
The squad was led by sophomore Molly Benavides, who won or tied for three of the four event titles and also won the all-around with a 37.200.
Benavides tied for the vault title with Verona’s Lexi Alt (9.55), finished tied for sixth on bars with a 9.0, won beam with a 9.15 and floor with a 9.50.
Benavides was one of three Burlington gymnasts to throw a double back somersault on floor – the hardest pass being done in high-school state gymnastics right now – and also was one of a handful of gymnasts to throw a 10.0 start value vault.
“I did not realize she won all those events,” said Biedrzycki. “Early in the season, that’s a really outstanding day.
“I know knowing her, she’s ready to improve some things.”
In addition to Benavides’ big day, sisters Bailey and Jenna Fitzpatrick also finished in the top four in the all-around. Both threw double backs on floor, but missed a pass later in the routine.
Jenna Fitzpatrick won bars with a 9.575, and finished fourth on vault with a 9.425, and finished fourth in the all-around with a 36.525.
Bailey Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, tied for fifth on vault (9.275), second on bars (9.45), tied for second on beam (9.075) and third in the all-around (36.675).
It was her first all-around performance of the season after being limited to just uneven bars in BBW’s season opener because of a sprained ankle.
BBW’s final medalist was Lauren Otter, who finished fourth on the floor exercise with a 9.05.