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Worthington gymnast Paige Kinley prepares to do a somersault during a gymnastics meet Thursday against the Marshall Tigers in Worthington.

GYMNASTICS: Worthington gymnasts knock off Tigers

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WORTHINGTON -- It was a clean sweep for Worthington against Marshall in a Southwest Conference gymnastics meet Thursday at the Old Armory.

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The Trojans defeated the Tigers 131.200-100.250 at the varsity level, but the top four places in all four competitive events went to Worthington.

"This is our third meet and the girls have done a lot of good things," Trojans head coach Joni Reitmeier said. "We had some shaky spots, but we also had some huge highlights ... one of them was the floor exercise. Every routine we did was a hit and the girls really showed off one of our strenghts."

Worthington had five athletes who placed in the floor excerise, an event that routinely takes the four best scores. Paige Kinley (9.250 points) topped the Trojans, while teammates Anna Koepsell and Maria Contreras tied for second with identical totals of 8.850.

"The floor exercise and the vault have been our two stronests events," Kinley said. "You have to have dance and technique to be strong on the floor. It helps if you're a good tumbler, too."

Whitney Jensen (8.700) finished fourth in the floor exercise and Liz Hayenga (8.625) ended up fifth.

The all-around standings were very similar to the floor exercise leaders. Kinley (34.600) was the all-around champion, while Koepsell (32.450) was the runner-up, Contreras (31.875) placed third and Hayenga (31.775) placed fourth.

In the vault, Contreras (8.900) placed first, while Kinley (8.850) was the runner-up, Hayenga (8.700) finshed third and Jensen (8.475) earned fourth.

Koepsell and Hayenga tied for first place (8.100) on the balance beam. Kinley scored a 7.800 to finish third, while Jensen had a 7.200 for fourth and Contreras registered a 7.100 for fifth.

Kinley (8.700), Koepsell (7.350), Contreras (7.025) and Hayenga (6.350) were the top four placers in the uneven parallel bars.

"Whitney Jensen stepped up for us in several events for Stephanie Jaycox, who could not compete because of an injury," Reitmeier said.

Reitmeier was happy the Trojans gave a strong performance in their league-opening meet.

"This was our first conference meet, we won and it was exciting, but we want to keep building on that momemtum," Reitmeier said. "We have a couple of weeks off, now, and we're going to work on polishing routines, adding a bit more difficulty to them clear up any weaknesses that we had (Thursday)."

Worthington also swept the junior varsity meet against Marshall 110.450-54.950.

The Trojans (2-1 overall, 1-0 Southwest Conference at the varsity level) travel to compete at Redwood Valley at 6 p.m. Jan. 3.

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