Zuelsdorff wins State Gymnastics Championship

At the top of the podium, Lauren Zuelsdorff of Merrill took first place in Level 7 at the 2024 Wisconsin State Gymnastics Championships. Raegen Zuelsdorff photo.


Fifteen-year-old Lauren Zuelsdorff of Merrill took first place in Level 7 gymnastics at the 2024 YMCA Wisconsin State Gymnastics Championships this past weekend, March 16 and 17, 2024, held in Fond du Lac.
Zuelsdorff is a Freshman at Merrill High School (MHS), but since MHS doesn’t currently have a gymnastics program, she competes as a member of the Wausau YMCA Whirlers Gymnastics Team through the Wausau YMCA.
She began taking gymnastics classes at the YMCA in Wausau at age 7 and in 2016, she got a letter inviting her to try out for the Wausau YMCA Whirlers Gymnastics Team. “You have to be invited and you have to have certain skills to be on the team,” Zuelsdorff said. “I found out I made the team at Level 2.”
In 2017, she officially began competing. and she attends gymnastic meets and competitions from October through early March every year. She’s qualified for State competition every year since she started on the team and went to State every year except the year it was canceled due to COVID. Each individual competitor has to have an all-around score of 32 or higher in one of the competitions in order to qualify for State, Zuelsdorff said.
This year she and five of her teammates qualified and went to Fond du Lac to compete at the State level.
There were a total of 58 gymasts who qualified and competed in the State meet for Level 7 this past weekend, the level at which Zuelsdorff was competing, together representing 12 different teams from throughout Wisconsin.
Out of all 58 competitors, Zuelsdorff came in first place, finishing with an all-around score of 36.525, and took home the State Championship trophy.
In the individual events that made up the final score – balance beam, floor exercise, vault, and the parallel uneven bars – her high scores combined to make that winning total.
Zuelsdorff took first place and was the Champion on the parallel uneven bars, finishing with a score of 9.0. She also took second place on the balance beam with a score of 9.0, missing out on first place in the event by .1. One of her teammates got the top spot in that event. Zuelsdorff finished fourth in the floor exercise with a score of 9.275, and she finished sixth on the vault with a score of 9.25.
Winning the Level 7 Championship is the high point of her competitive gymnastics career so far, but it isn’t the end. Zuelsdorff practices year round 3-4 days a week, and now, over the summer, she will focus on – and anticipates accomplishing – the skills she needs to move up to Level 8.
There are 10 Levels of competition in gymnastics at the YMCA, she said.
The Wausau YMCA Whirlers Gymnastics Team took home the fourth place trophy overall.

Lauren Zuelsdorff does a split jump on the balance beam at the State competition, earning her a score of 9.0 on the beam. Look at that height! Raegen Zuelsdorff photo.
Lauren Zuelsdorff competing on the uneven parallel bars at State competition. Raegen Zuelsdorff photo.

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