Menomonie’s Grace Braatz wrapped up her high school gymnastics career in style.
In her third straight year competing in the State Tournament, Braatz topped her own record with podium finishes in all the events she qualified for at sectionals — the uneven bars, vault, balance beam and all-around.
At Wisconsin Rapids Friday and Saturday in the Division 2 State Tournament, Braatz took runner-up on the uneven bars with a score of 9.083, finished third on balance beam (9.217), sixth on vault (9.033) for a fifth place in the all-around with a score of 35.833.
Samantha Krueger of River Falls won the all-around with a score of 36.950 with first place finishes on beam (9.450), vault (9.467) and floor (9.567). Addie Gallun of Whitefish Bay took first at bars (9.400), just ahead of Braatz.
“As a senior, Grace’s goal was to finish higher than last year on bars and place in the all-around,” head coach Erin Liljedahl said. “Many of Grace’s teammate traveled to the State competition to cheer her on ... this support had a huge effect on her performances.”
Last year as a junior, Braatz placed fifth on the uneven bars and missed the podium by just tenths in the all-around.
“She never stopped practicing and striving to make her skills and routines more perfected,” Liljedahl said of Braatz. “She was a huge leader on the team, she enjoyed helping other girls gain the motivation to work harder as well as having fun throughout the season. The team will be different next year without Grace. There are some big shoes to fill, however I believe she left her teammates motivated to reach their highest potential, just as she did.”