West Allis - Plenty of adversity faced Emily Fuchs and Sara Quesnell of West Allis at the WIAA Division 1 State Individual Meet on Friday night in Wisconsin Rapids.
Both juniors, however, found a way to overcome the difficulties and come through with their best efforts anyway.
Fuchs struggled in the opening event, the uneven parallel bars, finishing just 20th with 8.283 points, but bounced back with solid performances in the other competitions, highlighted by second place in the vaulting at 9.467. She wound up sixth in the all-around with 36.234 points.
Quesnell was hampered for the entire meet by knee pain, limiting her mobility, but still posted fifth place on the bars with 9.083 and came in eighth in the all-around at 35.966.
Coach John Glass was impressed by the desire and determination shown by both of his star gymnasts.
"Emily had an abnormally bad bar routine," Glass said. "She ended (a move) in a dead hang, which caused her an extra swing and a break in the flow of the routine."
Next was balance beam, and Fuchs placed fifth with 9.167 points.
"At that point, the meet seemed to turn around for her," Glass recalled.
She then competed in the floor and posted a 9.317, tying for the fourth-best score. She did not place, though, because she had not qualified individually for that event.
She finished on a strong note with her second place in vaulting.
"Her first vault was nice, but it was then time to for her to really go," Glass continued. "Her second vault was wonderful. It was high and she totally stuck the landing. Her 9.467 out of a possible vault value of 9.8 was a thing of beauty."
Quesnell, who won the state all-around last season, could not shake the knee pain.
"Running and the landings were a problem," Glass said. "She was in tears during the warmups on floor and I was feeling really bad for her, because she really wanted this to be a repeat of her last state meet. To her credit, she gutted out every event, but because of some shaky and painful landings, she ended up eighth (in all-around)."
Besides the fifth place on bars, Quesnell was ninth in the floor (9.133) and 16th in vaulting (8.883). She also posted 8.867 on beam but had not qualified individually there.
"She showed how much of a fighter she could be," Glass said. "She will again be someone to watch next year, because of her complete will to overcome."
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