The Madison Lady Bulldogs gymnastics team will be trying to get back on top with a young team at the State A Gymnastics Meet in Watertown on Friday.
"Our scores have grown individually and as a team up to this point, and we know there's still room for improvement," said Madison coach Maridee Dossett. "We were not happy coming in second at the Region 1A Meet, since we had come out ahead of Deuel twice in the regular season. but we're not giving up. We are giving it our all on Friday."
Madison has just one senior who will be competing at the State Meet. Isabel Gors is the lone senior on the Lady Bulldogs' roster.
Other team members are juniors Fiona Donelan, Raena Rost, Olivia Flemming and Kylie Krusemark; freshmen Maggie Engebretson, Lexi Hirsch and Sophia Sudenga; and seventh-grader Karlie Nelson.
"We've got quite a few state meet veterans on the team this year," Dossett said.
Gors, Rost, Krusemark and Flemming have been to five state meets. Donelan, Hirsch and Sudenga also have tournament experience.
"I think that will help calm the nerves of our first-timers, Engebretson and Nelson," Dossett said.
According to Dossett, Gors has been a great leader for the Lady Bulldogs this season. "She joined the team as a seventh-grader and has always given the sport her all," Dossett said, "dedicating summers and off-season to learning new skills, building muscle and strength to perform bigger skills. She's encouraging to her younger teammates, taking them along to out-of-season workouts, giving advice and ideas of how to better their skills and routines. She is like a big sister and friend to them."
Madison will be competing in the third pod on Friday which will begin at 4:30 p.m. Other teams competing in the third pod include Estelline/Hendricks, Deuel and Hot Springs. This will be the last pod of the day.
"I think our main competition will be Deuel," Dossett said. "We've had two wins and two losses to them so far this season. We had a pretty good indication of where other teams in the state were, score-wise, when we hosted our invitational. All but two Class A teams competed in the invite."
According to Dossett, the Lady Bulldogs will need to be at their best to claim the championship.
"There is little room for error, but I know this group of girls has it in them," she said. "We don't have one gymnast who carries the team; we rely on the total package. So we're going to have to be focused, with intentional supportive and high energy."
Dossett is thankful that they have made it to this point in the season.
"I'm glad that the school helped us create a new `normal' so that we could stay safe and have a winter season and the state meet experience," she said. "I'm thankful for my awesome assistant coach Carrie Wieman and several others who are our sounding boards and help our girls prepare outside of the competition season."