Sun Prairie sophomore Martha Guelker finished in a fifth-place tie to qualify for the WIAA State Gymnastics Championships for the second year in a row.

MUKWONAGO — For the second year in a row Martha Guelker will be the sole representative for Sun Prairie at the WIAA Division 1 State Gymnastics Championships.

Guelker, a sophomore, qualified on the vault at Thursday’s WIAA Division 1 Mukwonago/Kettle Moraine Sectional after finishing in a fifth-place tie. Guelker along with two others — Middleton’s Taylor Engelkes and Verona/Madison Edgewood’s Ella Crowley — all scored a 9.125 on their vault routines.

“Martha again had another strong vault and will advance to the state meet,” said Sun Prairie head coach Shannon Maly.

Guelker finished 21st on the vault at state her freshman year.

Guelker will compete at the 2021 WIAA State Gymnastics Championships on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School.

Guelker added a 12th-place finish on floor exercise (8.925), while other Sun Prairie gymnasts earning top-20 finishes were sophomore Carly Gross (14th, 8.850) and junior Chloe Knoernschild (18th, 8.725) on floor, and freshman Avery Greenberg who placed 11th on the uneven bars (8.5) and 17th on the vault (8.5).

Meanwhile, the Cardinals didn’t have one of their top gymnasts for the meet, junior Taylor Smith.

“We had to make a few changes to the line-up. Taylor Smith, one of hardest working beam specialists we have on our team, had been struggling with a knee issue and in warm-ups landed stiff in her landing and was unfortunately not able to compete. Our focus for her is to get her strong and healthy and ready to compete next season,” Maly said.

Sun Prairie placed fifth out of the eight teams that could qualify as teams for the state meet. The Cardinals’ scored 132.875 points. Host Mukwonago/Kettle Moraine and Verona/Madison Edgewood qualified as teams.

“With every obstacle we had to overcome — having our season start Nov. 16 then get delayed the next day; getting the go to practice on Dec. 21; having to get 20 days of practice in before we could compete; practicing in cohorts; the wait to see if we could go outside of Dane Co. to have in-person meets, then finding teams that had open slots to compete; performing with a mask on — we’re fortunate to have this season. We are so proud of how this team came together at the end and had an amazing meet,” said Maly.



Team scores: Franklin 138.225 (ineligible for state team competition), Mukwonago/Kettle Moraine 139.325 (team state qualifier), Verona/Madison Edgewood 137.625 (team state qualifier), Middleton 136.325, Waukesha North 135.800, Milton/Edgerton 134.650, Sun Prairie 132.875, Waunakee/DeForest 126.125, Janesville Parker 119.350, Janesville Craig 111.500.

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