After a total of three weather cancellations of meets against Menomonie and Rice Lake, the Wildcats, Mustangs and Warriors finally got together for a double dual for their Big Rivers Conference regular season finales Wednesday, Feb. 13, three days before the BRC Tournament.
The Cats topped the Mustangs 135.65 to 120.25 and the Warriors 136.65 to 104.38 Wednesday at Meyer Middle School before finishing second at Saturday's BRC Tournament in Chippewa Falls.
Co-head coach Bridgette Lensing said despite the long layoff, the Wildcats performed with confidence in both meets.
"I think confidence is a word we have been using all year, but now I think the word has some meaning behind it," she said. "The girls are not only starting to display confidence in all their performances, but they are also becoming more confident in themselves and their teammates."
That confidence was on display on the balance beam last Wednesday, as the Wildcat varsity and JV combined to "stick" nine of nine routines with zero falls.
"That was really exciting to see gymnast after gymnast get up on the beam and perform confident, stuck routines," co-head coach Lauren Kaminski said. "Eva Mikla was the final competitor, so when she landed her dismount the whole team kind of erupted. What was most exciting for me was for this team to see in that moment what they're capable of."
Mikla led a one-two-three Wildcat sweep in the event with a top score of 8.925 while Isabell Seyffer was second with 8.8 and Autumn Tiede third with 8.65.
Tiede won the other three events with scores of 9.3 on the vault, 9.025 on the floor and 8.2 on the uneven bars to take the all-around title with a total of 35.175 while Seyffer was second with 33.45.
Saturday at the BRC Tournament in Chippewa Falls, Tiede took second in the all-around with a total of 35.525 as the Cats finished second in the final team standings with a score of 137.1.
"Autumn Tiede had another great day," Kaminski said. "She had a fall on beam, but was still able to make second place on the podium for all-around."
Tiede took second on bars with 8.425, second on floor with 9.5 and third on the vault with 9.15. Natalie Swick also made the podium in the floor exercise with a third place score of 9.375 and the vault with a fifth place score of 9.05 while Lexi Epstein and Seyffer placed fourth and fifth on the balance beam with personal best scores of 8.875 and 8.85, respectively. Madisyn Tape also had a personal best score of 8.8 to place sixth.
"The team is really hitting their stride on the beam," Kaminski noted.
Kaminski said a number of Wildcats are stepping up at the end of the season.
"Natalie Swick has been putting work into her floor and vault and giving lots of attention to detail on floor, which is paying off in her routines and reflected in her scores," she said. "Isabel Seyffer had a tough start to the day on floor, but was able to finish the rest of the day out with some of her best performances. We were really proud of her mental tenacity at BRC. And Lexi Epstein has been working to get her bar routine back to full strength and had great routines at both meets."
Next up for the Wildcats is the WIAA Division 2 sectional this Saturday, Feb. 23, in West Salem. The top two teams and the top five finishers in the individual events and all-around will qualify for the WIAA State Tournament March 1-2 in Wisconsin Rapids.
Lensing said she likes the Wildcats' chances.
"Even though scores may not have reflected it on some events, we had some of our best event performances on Saturday," she said. "We are doing what we have worked all season to do-peak and perform our best when it matters most."