|3/8/2018 2:21:00 PM|
Dodgeville/MP gymnasts first where it counts
There were only two teams in each division that made it to the podium Friday at the WIAA state gymnastics meet and one of them was not the Dodgeville/Mineral Point Division 2 team.
Instead the Dodgeville/Mineral Point team made it to first place on the best podium of all....the podium of life.
Making that podium started in December when senior Alyssa Belling had her stellar career ended when she tore her ACL on a practice move. She was crushed and so were her teammates because, after all, they are a team and even more than that, a family. And families stick together.
Alyssa did not leave the team or the family. She stayed with her teammates the rest of the season helping out any way she could. She and another teammate, senior Martina Steffes who was forced out of action her sophomore year, combined to help with the junior varsity, giving them the knowledge and helping them with the skills needed to improve and enjoy the demanding sport,
Alyssa watched her teammates improve, win meets, and all the while cheering for those who stepped up to fill her spot. She cheered them, comforted them if things did not go well and supported them. She had plenty to give when it came to competing in the sport as she had been at the state tournament the previous year.
Her teammates appreciated her help and knew they had to find a way to ease her pain somewhat and show her how much they cared. The coaches, Julia and Todd Oellerich and Annette Anderson, talked it over and decided the best thing they could do was let Alyssa make an appearance at the state meet as part of the team. They agreed she could do a low bar routine that would not result in a high score and could cost them some points but it would assure her safety.
But the points they would be shorted did not matter. What mattered was letting someone they love get one more day in the sun.
Did the team's gesture have an impact on the injured competitor?
"It was awesome," Alyssa exclaimed after doing her low bar routine. "It was emotional and I cried."
Any tears that took place that day when Alyssa performed dealt with happiness. It meant so much to her that she will consider further competition after seeing how her knee comes out of surgery. She will attend UW-LaCrosse which just happens to have a gymnastics team,
If last weekend happens to be the end of her gymnastics career she will leave the sport with a ton of fond memories. No doubt one of the best ones will be what her coaches and teammates did for her at this year's state meet.
"I will miss it, that's for sure," Alyssa says about gymnastics. "I will miss my team. It will be sad when this weekend is over."
The Dodgeville/Mineral Point team finished eighth at the state meet. If they would not have allowed their injured teammate to have her appearance they may have finished higher. But no matter where they finished at the state meet they earned a much better and bigger award.
First place on the podium of life.
Making up the Dodgeville/Min-eral Point state team were Miah Lemanski, Tessa Bockhop, Elle Honerbaum, Emma Berg, Emily Sullivan, Katlyn Yingst, Lily McDonald and Alyssa Belling.
WIAA STATE GYMNASTICS
1. Whitefish Bay 141.7167
2. River Falls 140.5500
3. Mount Horeb 137.1667
4. Elkhorn Area 135.1667
5. West Salem 134.5000
6. Ashland 129.7333
7. Jefferson 127.6000
8. Dodgeville/MP 127.2667
9. Antigo. 123. 2500
10. Viroqua Co-op 122.7883
Miah Lemanski 8.913
Tessa Bockhop 7.833
Elle Honerbaum 7.887
Lily McDonald 7.050
Emma Berg 6.633
Miah Lemanski 8.867
Tessa Bockhop 7.817
Elle Honerbaum 7.650
Emma Berg 7.500
Emily Sullivan 7.100
Tessa Bockhop 8.150
Miah Lemanski 8.067
Elle Honerbaum 7.617
Lily McDonald 6.267
Alyssa Belling 3.900
Miah Lemanski 8.733
Elle Honerbaum 8.300
Tessa Bockhop 8.200
Katlyn Yingst 8.000
Emma Berg 7.500
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