State qualifer

Waunakee-DeForest’s Sydney Thompson punched her ticket to the WIAA state gymnastics meet after a stellar performance on the balance beam at the Middleton Sectional.

Sydney Thompson surprised even herself at Saturday’s WIAA Sectional Gymnastics meet.

The DeForest junior wasn’t expecting to earn a trip to state, but ultimately did by virtue of her 8.95 score on the balance beam Saturday.

“I’m just absolutely proud of her,” said the Waunakee-DeForest Gymnastics team’s Head Coach Brittany Hoffman. “She’s worked so hard to get here, and she’s done an amazing job.”

WIAA Sectional

Heading into Saturday’s competition, Thompson wasn’t convinced her season would continue on for another week.

“I’m really overwhelmed because I told myself all week in the mirror, ‘You’re probably not going to go. It’s fine; don’t worry about it,’” said Thompson.

In her first of two events on the day, Thompson’s face lit up as she approached the end of her routine on the balance beam. Knowing she had hit all her spots in the routine, Thompson realized a big score was on the way if she could nail her dismount.

“Right after my last jump, I knew it, and I made a face. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, my dismount. That’s all I have to do,’” Thompson said. “I did my dismount and I didn’t even smile at the judges; my mouth was wide open screaming. I knew my score was going to be pretty high.”

When the judges raised a score of 8.95 – the second-highest score on beam for the day – Thompson’s spot was all but sealed.

As a team, Waunakee-DeForest scored 132.2 points to place fifth out of the eight teams competing. Savannah Treinen was the closest gymnast on the team to joining Thompson at state; Treinen placed eighth on the balance beam with a score of 8.625.

Caylee Powers scored the final top-10 finish of the day for the team, taking 10th on the uneven bars with an 8.375. Ashley Domask took 12th in the all around competition, compiling a total of 32.0 points. Her highest score of the day came on the floor exercise with an 8.375, which placed 19th.

Also posting scores in the top 20 were Powers on the vault in 15th (8.4) and beam in 20th (8.05), Kirsten Beery on the beam in 11th (8.5), Lexi Burgard on the uneven bars in 20th (7.95) and Treinen on floor in 17th (8.45).

For Thompson, the season continues on; she’ll head to Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln to compete in the 50th annual WIAA State Gymnastics Tournament.

“I’m very proud of her and proud of the team as a whole,” added Hoffman. “We did great.”

The two-day state tournament is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Friday.

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