Royals impress at state

Seventh grader Ailsa Gilbert

Seventh grader Ailsa Gilbert

Watertown-Mayer sent senior Brooke Leaf, junior Tina Scanlon, sophomore Katie Heilman, and seventh grader Ailsa Gilbert to the Class A state competition over the weekend, and the Royals did not disappoint.

The Royals top finish of the day came from Gilbert, who placed fourth in the state on the floor exercise with a score of 9.50. The floor title went to Austin senior Sela Fadness, just two points over Gilbert at 9.7.

Sophomore Katie Heilman

Sophomore Katie Heilman

Gilbert is the first seventh grader from Watertown-Mayer to place at the state level, and only the second in program history to make state. The other was Stacy Luchsinger in 1988.

Senior Brooke Leaf also competed solely in the floor event, and finished 12th overall with a score of 9.350. Leaf made her fourth tournament appearance and is second only to Luchsinger in state tournament appearances. Two other former Royals have also appeared four times.

Senior Brooke Leaf

Senior Brooke Leaf

“It was nice to see Brooke Leaf do vso well for the last meet of her career,” WMHS head coach Steve Hangartner said.

Junior Tina Scanlon and sophomore Katie Heilman represented Watertown-Mayer in the all around competition, competing in all four events.

Junior Tina Scanlon

Junior Tina Scanlon

Heilman finished 20th all around with a total score of 35.450. She scored an 8.675 on bars, an 8.750 on beam, and an 8.80 on the floor exercise. She also competed individually on vault, placing 20th with an average of 9.2375. Her first vault was an 8.550 and her second a 9.225.

“I was very proud of Katie Heilman after falling at the beginning of her beam routine, she was able to keep her composure and hit the rest of her difficult routine without hardly a deduction,” Hangartner said. “Katie had a really nice bar routine.”

Scanlon, who is one of the Royals’ top competitors on vault and floor exercise, scored an average 9.3875 on vault (8.9 first vault, 9.375 second),  an 8.1 on bars, an 8.450 on beam, and a 9.050 on the floor exercise. She finished 27th in the all around with a score of 34.975.

“Both Katie and Tina Scanlon had to come through on their second vaults,” Hangartner said. “Tina’s best events were the floor and vault.”

Perhaps another highlight of the state meet for the Royals was the great number of teammates and fans that turned out to support Leaf, Scanlon, Heilman, and Gilbert.

“We had almost our entire team down to support the girls and a high number of parents attended,” Hangartner said. “It meant a lot to me and the girls to have so much support.”

Look for a full season recap of the WMHS gymnastics team in the coming weeks.


Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]


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