With a young and talented team, Marshfield gymnastics has high hopes for this season and beyond
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield gymnastics team has a new coach, some promising freshmen, and looks to be on the rise after the first month of the season.
The Tigers finished third among 10 teams at the Rhinelander Invitational on Dec. 12 and took fourth at the eight-team Tomah Invite a week later, creating excitement among this year’s squad that something special could be on the horizon.
Despite sophomore Macey Smith, the Tigers’ top all-around gymnast, being out since the opener against Chippewa Falls with an injury, Marshfield has been strong in a number of events. With Smith likely to return in the next few weeks, first-year coach Allie Dryer said the Tigers at full strength will be fun to watch.
“We’re really deep this year,” Dryer said. “At the Tomah Invite, our JV team won the meet and also beat four varsity teams. It’s fun to watch them grow. (Smith’s injury) has given a chance to some of the girls to step up in Macey’s absence. We will be happy to have her back, and it will definitely help our team score.”
Senior Megan Smith, Macey’s sister, won the vault and took third in the uneven bars at the Tomah meet, and freshman Emma Haugen was second in the vault and the all-around at Rhinelander.
Freshmen Brooke McGrath and Isabelle Jensen also had top-10 finishes at the two meets, showcasing the depth Dryer mentioned.
“We’ve been competitive in the all-around — to be competitive in all four events is awesome — but we also have some freshmen that have come in and been competitive and rose to the top of the varsity standings,” Dryer said. “I can’t imagine where we’re going to go in the next three years if they are already there as freshmen.”
Bailey Schmidt, Merrissa Immerfall, Cera Neufeld, Melanie Hafenbredl, McKenna Gramza, and Ally Bakke have solidified the JV squad, and many have contributed on the varsity level in some events.
Dryer hopes that all of the experience the newcomers are gaining will only make the Tigers stronger as the season continues.
“We’re hosting conference (Great Northern Conference Meet on Feb. 20), so we’re hoping to have a good showing there, and we’re hoping to have some state competitors,” Dryer said. “We have a good shot in the all-around, bars, and vault.”
Marshfield returns to action Jan. 7 with a home conference dual meet against Ashland.
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at email@example.com.