When the WIAA Individual State Division 1 Gymnastics Championship begins today in Wisconsin Rapids, the Manitowoc Lincoln gymnastics team will be represented by both the new and old guard.
Taking part for the Ships will be freshman phenom Alyssa DeZeeuw and senior Randi Levendusky, with Levendusky trying to impart her experiences from reaching State two years ago as a sophomore on the balance beam.
“Randi is trying to get Alyssa ready by preparing her for what to expect,” said Lincoln coach Jacque Bartow. “It’s difficult to understand all the emotion and energy around the tournament with so many different teams and gymnasts all preparing at once.”
DeZeeuw will be competing in the all-round after finishing third in the event with a 35.750 at the Lincoln-hosted sectional on Saturday, something Bartow says is rare for a freshman. In order to advance to State, an individual must finish fifth or better at sectionals.
“To qualify as a freshman in any event is a rare occurrence, but to do so in the all-round just speaks to how well she handles herself under pressure,” Bartow added.
By qualifying in the all-around, DeZeeuw will be taking part in all four individual events; balance beam, uneven bars, vault and the floor exercise despite only qualifying individually in bars (second, 9.15) and beam (tied for third, 9.1).
Levendusky, meanwhile, will be making her second trip to State on beam (fifth, 9.0), she finished 12th in 2011, and first for floor (fourth, 9.275).
Bartow feels both her gymnasts have a chance to medal by finishing sixth or better in any event.
“Both girls have worked really hard to get where they are,” Bartow stated. “I just hope that in between all the hard work and preparation they remember to have a little fun while they’re there.”