By Jennifer Eisenbart
Looking at it one way, the Burlington Combined gymnastics team lost Saturday’s Spartan Invite title by just .025 to old rival Franklin/Muskego/Whitnall/Oak Creek.
But looking at it another way, the squad is getting closer to where it needs to be to win such a close meet.
“It was just a good, tight meet,” said BBW coach Diane Biedrzycki, whose squad fell just short of the invite’s green division title, 147.725 to 147.700. “Both teams stayed on beam. They hit their bars routines. We killed vault. It was phenomenal.”
The two teams were more than 10 points ahead of the rest of the field. In finishing second, BBW saw sophomore Bailey Fitzpatrick win the all-around with 38.375 – a new meet record – and sophomore Molly Benavides also set new meet records on vault and floor.
Fitzpatrick hit all four events in the same meet, including a season-high 9.675 to finish second on vault behind Benavides’ new meet record of 9.750.
Jenna Fitzpatrick finished third with a 9.575 to give the team a sweep of the top three spots.
Bailey Fitzpatrick won bars with a 9.60, finished second on beam with a 9.575 and tied for second on floor with a 9.525 to wrap up her day.
Benavides struggled on bars and beam, scoring just 8.7 and 8.9, respectively, but posted a 9.65 on floor to break that meet record as well.
The coach also complimented Jacquie Fiorillo, who was solid on both vault (9.15) and bars (8.525), and Ciara Johnson put up her best all-around performance of the season, scoring 34.775 without counting a fall and finishing seventh.
Rounding out the medalists (top 10 on each event) were Jenna Fitzpatrick, who finished third on bars (9.3), ninth on beam (8.95) and sixth on floor (9.35) en route to third in the all-around (37.175); Benavides, who took fourth in the all-around (37.00) and tenth on beam (8.90); Johnson in the all-around and vault (10th, 9.05); Fiorillo on vault (ninth, 9.15)
On Jan. 24, the squad posted a season-high score of 148.75 to defeat Whitewater (123.425) in Southern Lakes Conference action.
Bailey Fitzpatrick won the all-around with a 37.975, winning bars (9.65) and beam (9.575) while Benavides was second in the all-around (37.575) and won vault (9.80) and floor (9.825).
Jenna Fitzpatrick finished third in the all-around with a 37.10.