It's her final year of coaching after 24 years, so there should be some special things happening for Menomonee Falls/Germantown gymnastics coach Tracy Howard.
Such as what occurred last Saturday, when the Indians swept all the individual events and claimed the team title in their own invitational.
But that wasn't the best part of the day, as later that night, Howard hosted about 45 gymnastics' alumni from all her years at Falls and Germantown.
"We rented the back room down at Krueger's (in the Falls) and we just filled it to capacity," Howard said. "It was quite a flashback. They came from all over the country, California and Illinois. The response was very nice. I got all kinds of little gifts and flowers."
And the current Indian team is trying to make the season nice for Howard. Nearly at full strength, the local co-op turned in a season-best score of 135.625 to earn their crown over Watertown (133.75) in the five-team event.
Paige Lemley led the way with titles in both the all-around (33.8) and on the floor exercise (9.225).
Other individual wins went to Lizzy Gilbert on vault (8.375), Katrina Morrison on uneven bars (8.525) and Emma Brose on balance beam (9.225). Afterward, judges came up to Brose and said that Brose's beam routine was "impeccable."
"From the first movement on, they knew it would be great," Howard said.
The vault was the Indians' best all-around event as Lemley was also second (8.725), Aerial Holt third (8.65) and Samantha Madrzak sixth (8.25).
Other places by event included the following: Bars - Holt, third (8.375). Beam - Gilbert, fourth (8.325); and Katrina Morrison, sixth (8.2). Floor exercise - Gilbert, second (8.85); Holt, sixth (8.6).
Howard was also very pleased with the junior varsity, which turned in a season best of 115.0 in winning its share of the meet.
"It was a season best by seven points," she said. "It was such a fun day. We had a super-hero theme and everyone of the kids seemed to enjoy themselves. I was also happy that we continued in the right direction too. We're pretty healthy at this time and I don't think that this is our final line-up yet."
And the goals are remain high in Howard's final go-around.
"I truly believe that this team can hit 140," she said. "Our school record is 139.75 and I think this group can get it."
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