One year ago, Arrowhead's Taryn Sherman delivered a brilliant performance in winning the uneven bars at the WIAA Division 1 state high school girls gymnastics meet at Wisconsin Rapids High School.
That day, Sherman not only won the event but dominated the competition, recording a mark of 9.817. That was a new state record for the bars.
"Taryn was right on that day," said Arrowhead coach Bob Pulkowski. "It might be the best performance I've ever seen. She nailed everything. I don't see anybody ever breaking that record."
Coming off that performance, things certainly looked good for Sherman last Saturday at the individual state meet in the same event. Despite suffering a sprained ankle a few weeks earlier that sidelined her for one meet and wearing a protective boot when she wasn't practicing or competing, Sherman was considered the favorite to repeat as the uneven bars champion.
But Sherman fell during the routine and never found her rhythm, eventually finishing in 22nd place with a score of 8.200.
However, that finish wasn't all that disappointing for Sherman. And for good reason.
In her first event on Saturday, the balance beam, Sherman delivered a powerful performance. She not only surprised the talented field of competitors, but herself as well. Sherman won the beam with a score of 9.450.
"That was my first event of the day, and I just went for it," Sherman said. "Being a senior and my last year, I just wanted to have fun and do the best I could. I wasn't expecting to win the beam at all. It's funny everything happened. I was expecting to win the bars and didn't, and then I won the beam when I didn't think I could. Last year at state, I struggled on the beam, so this was a good surprise."
Sherman might have had a bit of an excuse going into her final event, the bars. Just before getting started, her teammate and one of her best friends, Marissa Kildow, took a nasty fall on her bar routine.
"Marissa fell pretty hard, and I was really concerned about her," Sherman said. "When she went down, that hit me pretty hard. I felt bad for her. To be honest, I had trouble concentrating when it was my turn. The bars is my best event. I usually hit it all the time. But I just couldn't get it going."
By winning the beam, Sherman became just the fourth girls gymnast in school history to capture two events at state.
Kirstyn Wood won the beam in 2010 and 2011, and Jessica Krause captured the floor exercise in 2011 and 2012. Jorin Fredman became the third girl to win twice at state as she won the all-around in 2014 and the floor exercise in 2015.
At this year's state meet, besides winning the beam and taking 22nd on the bars, Sherman was 11th in the all-around (36.100) and seventh in vaulting (9.550). She was fifth in the all-around last year with a score of 37.200.
This was Sherman's third straight season competing at the individual state meet. She did not compete with the Arrowhead team as a freshman, choosing instead to stay with her club team.
"After my freshman year, I knew I wanted to be on my school team," Sherman said. "It's been so much fun being on the Arrowhead team. I never had that with the club team. Competing in high school has been a great experience."
Pulkowski said Sherman has been an outstanding member of his team the last three years.
"We train a lot differently at the high school level than the club teams do," Pulkowski said. "In our program, we build from the beginning of the season to the end. We're always looking for something bigger and better to work on. After not competing as a freshman, Taryn connected with the girls right away when she joined us. She's been a lot of fun to have on the team. She's willing to work hard and put in the time."