SPASH sends two to Gymnastics State Meet
Portage County Gazette
By John Kemmeter
Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) sophomore Katelyn Trowbridge and senior Korinne Trueman will both compete in the WIAA Division 1 Gymnastics Individual State Meet for the first time this weekend.
Trowbridge qualified in the all-around competition and Trueman advanced in the floor exercise at the Chippewa Falls Sectional Saturday, Feb. 23, as both will participate at the Individual State Meet at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2.
“Sectionals was just a really emotional meet for us as a team, the kids all really deserved to go to state (as a team),” said SPASH gymnastics head coach Jenny Bellmer. “But we’re really happy that Korinne and Katelyn made it through, because they just looked so good on Saturday, and I could really tell that they wanted it.”
At the Chippewa Falls Sectional last Saturday, Trowbridge placed third in the balance beam (8.65), third in the uneven bars (9.0), fourth in vaulting (9.1) and tied for fifth in the floor exercise (9.175).
That left her in third place in the all-around standings with a total of 35.925, to send her to state in the all-around competition.
“It’s really exciting,” said Trowbridge. “That was definitely a big goal of mine this year, to go to state.
“I’ve been hearing about it and hearing how fun it is, and our teammates are always so supportive,” she said. “They were really happy for us and excited for us that we’re going as individuals.”
“This is Katelyn’s first year on the team, and she’s been really fun to coach, because she’s just an excellent gymnast all-around,” said Bellmer. “I know she has further goals, but to have her go to an all-around competition her first year out is pretty special.
“But she just looked so good on Saturday, she had three 9s in three out of four events, and I know she wants to do better on the other event too,” she said.
Trueman tied for fifth in the floor exercise at the Chippewa Falls Sectional with a score of 9.175, to advance to state in her first year on the SPASH gymnastics team.
“I went last, and all of my other teammates were super energized during their routines, so it helped me to be really confident with my routine,” said Trueman. “And everybody was really happy, so it helped affect the mood of our team, and it was really positive.”
“We’ve had this history where we get one person from cheer a year, and it always turns out that they’re a senior,” said Bellmer. “This is our third or fourth student coming from cheer, and they come to me as a senior and they know nothing about gymnastics, but yet they can tumble, and so somehow we magically put together these gorgeous routines.
“They know how to dance, they know how to perform, and so Korinne just had all of it to begin with, and I didn’t really have to do much,” she said. “I taught her a little bit about gymnastics, but she really kind of just ran with it, she’s very coachable and she would do anything I would ask her to do, so it just made my job very easy.”
Meanwhile, SPASH ended up third in the team standings with a score of 135.675, to just miss advancing to the Team State Meet Friday, March 1, behind Sectional Champion Hudson (139.475) and Marshfield (136.4).
“This was a challenging year to get us to work together as a team, and the culmination of it all just happened at the end at Sectionals,” said Bellmer. “I was really proud of their sportsmanship, and they developed into a close-knit group.
“I need to reiterate to them, how proud I am of the way that they started to work together,” she said. “I’m really lucky to have as many kids as I do, and we have so much depth as a team, we have so many specialists in each event, and they just really stepped it up near the end of the year and I’m just very proud of them.”
Bellmer also wanted to credit the work of seniors Renee Hinchcliffe, Ashley Powell and Brianna Behne, who had their high school gymnastics careers end at the Sectional.
“Renee didn’t make it to state this year, but she has in the past, she’s an all-around gymnast too, and she has been by far one of the most consistent competitors we’ve ever had,” said Bellmer. “One of the most coachable, one of the nicest and most respectful girls, and she’s at the top of her class.
“And although she didn’t make it to state this year, she’s just been the anchor of our team,” she said. “So I just I want to give her a shout-out, as well as Ashley and Brianna, because it’s important that they get some love too.”
As Trowbridge and Trueman go in to the State Meet for the first time this Saturday, Bellmer said she wants them to have fun and enjoy the moment.
“A goal is to take one event at a time and definitely just stay clean and tight, and have good landings,” said Trowbridge. “And then just have fun and hit 4-for-4 all-around.”
“I just want to make it super clean,” said Trueman. “It’s always fun doing floor routines, because everyone’s routine is different and has different movements.
“I’m excited to see other people’s routines too, because part of the atmosphere there is just meeting new people,” she said.