For both Racine County high school gymnastics teams, experience will be the key moving forward this season.
Waterford will be led by seven returning varsity athletes, including three seniors, in hopes of remaining competitive in the Southern Lakes Conference.
Nine-time defending SLC champion Burlington Co-op, looking to fill in the void left by five graduated seniors, is hoping some younger athletes step up and make an impact this season.
Here are capsule looks at the two teams:
COACH: Andrea Chart, third season.
LAST SEASON: 4-0 in Southern Lakes Conference dual meets, SLC champion, fifth at WIAA Division 1 Mukwonago sectional (134.650).
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Juniors — Carly Schaefer (Union Grove), Mari Trent (Badger), Jessica Zeitler (Wilmot).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Losing five seniors will be tough, but Chart said her team will be undeterred, thanks to three returning juniors and some new talent that competed in club gymnastics for several years.
While no one on the squad qualified for the state meet last season, several returning athletes had good showings at the sectional meet at Mukwonago. Zeitler placed eighth in the uneven vars (8.65), while Trent was ninth on the vault (8.90). Zeitler also placed 11th in the all-around with a score of 33.40.
COACH: Carrie Rydzewski, eighth season.
LAST SEASON: 2-2 in Southern Lakes Conference dual meets; fourth at the WIAA Division 2 Waterford sectional (124.475).
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Senior — Lauren Muffick. Junior — Olivia Wegner. Sophomores — Ashley Baker, Priscilla Gasiorowski, Kayla Heinze, Rhianna Whyte.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Along with the returnees, the Wolverines have some new talent (Alexie Strasser, Emilee Thomas, and Emily Williams) that has several years of gymnastics experience and could become nice additions to the team. With a blending of veteran and young talent, Waterford hopes to improve from last year.
At the sectional meet, Muffick placed 13th in the uneven bars (7.5), while Baker was 15th and Heinze 18th. Whyte was 14th in the vault.