Having won four of the last five WIAA D1 state team titles, including the 2016 crown, the Franklin, Muskego, Oak Creek and Whitnall girls gymnastics team is already accustomed to having a target on its back.
But veteran coach Katie Moore is taking a realistic approach with a younger-than-usual squad. They got their season off to a good start with a second-place finish in their own Frosty Flip invitational on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Altius.
"With only three girls returning, we will be building on some new talent to create our varsity team," Moore said.
It will clearly be a new look, she added.
"Our varsity roster returns Krystal Nelson, Abigail Missiaen and Rebecca Koronkowski from the team that won state last season," she said. "Sam Balcerak, Erin Scholz and Jessie Kesier graduated, Brianna Tobin has retired and Holli Anderson returned to club gymnastics ... we've added Isabelle Anderson (Holli's sister), a senior from Oak Creek who was a very good club gymnast but is pretty limited by a back injury. She may only compete on the beam but possibly on bars.
"Also new to the team are sophomores from Muskego Elizabeth Missiaen (Abigail's sister) and Emma Warr; both come with club experience and should be able to help in every event. We will also look to Muskego sophomore Claire Maki and Franklin senior Kathy Pecha, who both did limited varsity events last season and should be able to contribute more this year. We also added freshman Mikayla Surprenant and Morgan Huemmer, both from Oak Creek, who can provide some depth."
Senior Abigail Missiaen was third in the vault at individual state last season, while sophomore Nelson was second on balance beam.
In the Frosty Flip invitational, FMOW scored 142.65 points for its spot, as the returning state runner-up Kenosha co-op won the seven-team event with 144.725. Brookfield, which was fourth in state last season, was third with 139.5
The vault was a great event for FMOW, as Elizabeth Missiaen won it with a 9.45 score, Warr was fifth (9.05) and Nelson was sixth (8.95). Nelson also secured a win on the balance beam with a 9.3 effort.
On floor, Nelson took third (9.475), while Elizabeth Missiaen was fourth (9.225) and Warr sixth (9.15). Nelson led the way on uneven bars with a second (9.575), and Elizabeth Missiaen and Koronowski tied for fifth with 9.15.
Nelson was second in the all-around with a 37.3 to Kenosha's returning WIAA state all-around champion Molly O'Boyle (37.6), while Warr was fifth (35.925) and Elizabeth Missiaen sixth (35.825).