Sparta gymnastics makes program history with first team state appearance

Support level among young athletes a major driving force this season

For the first time in program history, Sparta gymnastics will be competing at team state this weekend.

Sophomores Lily Wiegand and Savannah Clark, as well as freshman Ella Hemker, anchor the young Spartan program that’s turned heads all season and held their own with Division 1 Holmen during MVC competition.

Wiegand and Hemker especially dominated at sectionals, placing first and second in the all-around. This will be Wiegand’s second trip to the state meet after placing last year.

As they look ahead to this weekend, the athletes say that during their season together, they’ve all grown more confident in themselves.

“I think our team has come a long way, because we had a couple new freshmen come in that haven’t really done gymnastics or competed [in high school], so our team came together towards the end,” Wiegand said.

“Having Ella and all the freshmen on the team just really brought the team together to help out with everything else,” sophomore Savannah Clark said. “Our scores went up, and our attitudes have gone through the roof.”

“I wasn’t expecting to be this confident in myself, without competing for a little while, but I’m really glad I did it,” Hemker said.

Sparta and the rest of the field begin competition at 1 p.m. Friday.