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Gymnasts open on high note

The Wildcat gymnastics team has made a tradition out of starting its season with a win at the Wisconsin Rapids Classic and ending it back in Wisconsin Rapids at the WIAA State Tournament. They repeated the first part of that plan last Saturday, Dec. 1, with another season-opening victory, now it's setting its sights on returning again in March.

The Wildcats, who have made 17 straight trips to state, won the team title at the seven-team Wisconsin Rapids Classic Saturday, Dec. 1, with three different Cats claiming at least one individual title.

Sophomore Autumn Tiede parlayed first place finishes in the floor exercise and the vault, a second place finish on the uneven bars, and a fifth place showing on the balance beam, into winning the all-around title to lead the Wildcats. Sophomore Eva Mikla took first on the balance beam and classmate Madison Berg won the uneven bars.

Tiede scored 9.225 on the floor and 9.175 in the vault to lead Wildcats sweeps of the top two spots in both events. She was also second behind Berg on the uneven bars with an 8.3 and one of three Wildcats in the top five on the balance beam with a fifth place score of 7.85. Mikla won the balance beam with an 8.275 while sophomore Isabel Seyfer was fourth with 8.0.

Senior Natalie Swick finished second to Tiede in a pair of events with scores of 9.05 on floor and 8.95 on the vault.

Tiede won the all-around title with a total score of 34.55, a full point ahead of runner-up Olivia Burns of West Bend East, while Seyffer was sixth with 31.375.

The Wildcats ran away with the team title, scoring 133.5 while Stevens Point was a distant second with 125.7. Waterford finished third with 123.625.

Next up for the Wildcats is the Chippewa Falls Invitational this Saturday, Dec. 8.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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