By Jennifer Eisenbart
There was little doubt heading into Friday night’s Southern Lakes Conference meet that the Burlington Combined gymnastics team would win the team title.
The real question was just how well the team would perform at the meet.
Burlington broke numerous meet records and came up just short of its own team record of last year, scoring 149.675 to win the title at Jefferson.
The team set new team records on the floor exercise and uneven bars, and also broke every individual record except for Molly Benavides’ vault record – set last year.
BBW started on the vault, and according to coach Diane Biedrzycki, started slow.
“This team tends to start off a little rough,” said Biedrzycki. Only two athletes really hit their vaults – Jenna Fitzpatrick for 9.625 and the eventually title, and Ciara Johnson for an 8.85.
Benavides landed just one of her two vaults, and finished second with a 9.40.
From there, though, the team picked it up, sweeping the top three spots on uneven bars and beam, and the top four spots on floor.
“It’s a nice feeling,” said Biedrzycki, who added that the team still counted a fall off beam and the minor troubles on vault. “The girls were the ones who came and told us, ‘We could’ve had a 151!”
Bailey Fitzpatrick broke the meet records by winning the uneven bars with a 9.75 and beam with a 9.70. Benavides, meanwhile, broke the floor record in winning the event with a 9.80.
With the top six medaling on each event, Jenna Fitzpatrick (second, 9.675), Benavides (third, 9.55) and Jackie Fiorillo (fifth, 9.0) brought home hardware on the uneven bars, while Benavides (second, 9.55) and Jenna Fitzpatrick (third, 9.30) medaled on beam.
On the floor, Bailey Fitzpatrick followed Benavides with a 9.65, while Jenna Fitzpatrick was third with a 9.525 and Lauren Otter fourth with a 9.225.
Benavides posted a season-high 38.300 to win the all-around title, followed by Jenna Fitzpatrick (38.125) and Bailey Fitzpatrick (37.875). The all-around mark was also a new meet record.
With the WIAA Division 1 sectional today at Waukesha West High School at 5:30 p.m., Biedrzycki sounded happy with where her team was at.
“I feel pretty good about where we’re at health-wise, and what we’re doing at practice,” the coach said.