Lexi Burgard

Junior Lexi Burgard returns as part of a veteran group for the Waunakee-DeForest gymnastics team.

On the heels of a successful 2018-19 season, the Waunakee-DeForest gymnastics team is looking to continue building.

The team hopes to send gymnasts to state for the third straight year; last year, Caylee Powers and the graduated Tailyn Keller represented Waunakee-DeForest in Wisconsin Rapids. Powers – a senior – specializes in the uneven bars, but will likely be a significant contributor in multiple events in 2019-20.

Joining Powers in the lineup are senior captains Ashley Domask and Kenzie Roepke. Domask returns as one of the Badger North’s top all-around performers, having finished sixth at last year’s conference meet. Roepke will also be a major contributor on varsity this year, having competed at last year’s sectional meet.

Should Waunakee-DeForest improve on their third-place finish at the 2018-19 Badger North Conference meet, the trio of Powers, Domask and Roepke will need to play big roles.

“If the team goes out and does the best routines I know they can do, then we are all excited,” said Waunakee-DeForest’s Head Coach Brittany Hoffman, entering her sixth year leading the program.

Waunakee-DeForest will have no shortage of competition for the remaining spots on varsity. Returning gymnasts with varsity experience include juniors Lexi Burgard, Bella Hernandez and Sydney Thompson. Sophomore Rose Capobianco was among the top all-around JV gymnasts in the Badger North a season ago, and could make the jump to varsity in multiple events. There are plenty of freshmen who will push for spots on varsity, as well.

“We are looking at a big group of new girls on our team this year…” said Hoffman, noting that 10 of the team’s 21 gymnasts are freshmen. “With a lot of our new girls coming in with gymnastics experience already, I expect this year to be amazing.”

Waunakee-DeForest will hold their first competition of the season on Dec. 10, when they host Milton. Start time at Waunakee High School’s Old Gym is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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