Franklin — The Franklin Combined gymnastics team continues to raise the bar - on itself and the competition.
After posting an area-high score of 140.625 at a three-team meet just before the holiday break, Franklin started the new year Saturday by scoring 140.7 to win the 29th annual Falcon Invitational at Westosha Central.
The 12-team meet featured four of the area's top five teams and more than a dozen gymnasts who competed at the 2009 state meet.
But Franklin, which also includes gymnasts from Muskego, Oak Creek and Whitnall high schools, fended off challenges from defending Division 1 state champion Arrowhead (second with 140.025) and third-place Kenosha Combined (139.8) to win the prestigious meet.
Franklin trailed Arrowhead heading into the last rotation but posted a spectacular 37.7 team score on the floor exercise to take the lead and the team title. Franklin finished with three of the top six individual scores on floor.
"Floor has been our best event this season, so we knew we could make up some ground," Franklin co-op coach Katie Moore said. "I guess I didn't know we would make up that much ground."
Franklin surged to the title thanks to Melaine Pearson's third-place 9.575 and Lauren Zurowski's fourth-place 9.525 on the floor. Courtney L'Hullier placed sixth with a 9.3.
Franklin also had two of the top four finishers on balance beam, a tough event Saturday where no one scored higher than an 8.975. Erin Honerlaw was third (8.925) and Lauren Hein fourth (8.9).
Franklin placed second at the 2009 Division 1 state team meet to Arrowhead. On Saturday, Franklin beat the Warhawks for the second time this season.
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