WHS GYMNASTICS: Worthington outduels Pipestone Area
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington gymnastics team finished its regular season with a victory Friday night at the Armory.
The Trojans defeated Pipestone Area 135.55-124.2 and Tara Svalland received a personal-best score of 36 to place first in the all-around and to round out the season.
And now WHS has a two-week hiatus from competition as the team prepares for the section meet.
"I think they did really good," WHS coach Joni Reitmeier said. "We had a couple struggles on the balance beam, but that happens.
"We need to make sure when we have these two weeks now for sections that we clean that up, but otherwise we had a phenomenal meet. We just need to get back to practice on Monday and fix those little bobbles and those falls and we'll be ready to go."
Svalland won the all-around with a 36 -- beating her previous best score of 35.5 -- while Paige Kinley took second with a 34.7 and Pipestone Area's Londyn Swensen took third place with a 32.25.
On the vault, Svalland took first with a 9.45, Kinley took second with a 9.075 and WHS's Liz Hayenga took third with an 8.7.
On the bars, Kinley took first with an 8.55, Svalland took second with an 8.5 and Stephanie Jaycox took third with a 7.8.
Svalland took first on the beam with an 8.75, Kinley took second with a 7.725 and Whitney Jensen took third with a 7.6.
On the floor exercise, Kinley took first with a 9.35, Svalland took second with a 9.3 and the Arrows' Swensen took third with an 8.875.
"I did good tonight," Svalland said. "I got my highest all-around score ever. There's still room for improvements, especially on the balance beam. Vault was probably my strongest routine tonight so that was good. Now our focus is getting ready for sections."
Kinely's night was also strong, with both Reitmeier and Svalland pointing to her bar routine as being one of the best she has done all season.
The sophomore has added some new skills to the routine over the past couple weeks and struggled in the team's competition in Jackson on Tuesday with the new moves.
However, she stuck her landing Friday and was able to complete each new skill she added to the routine, making her coaches and teammates really proud of her.
"Paige has put some new elements in her bar routine just in the past few weeks," Reitmeier said. "To come back home and perform well and do all of those skills and get a good score, that's extremely exciting. Now she has that confidence that she can do that routine and make it even better.
"And Tara, too, had a good night. She's been consistent all year for us. Today she really came out and hit her routines. She deserves every bit of it. Those two have been veterens, competing varisty for a long time. You can just tell when they get into meets that they thrive on those nervous situations. They're true leaders of this team."
The Trojans finished the regular season 9-3 and will host the section meet at Worthington High School on February 18.
And WHS will use these next two weeks to perfect its routines and make everything "crispy-crunchy" as Reitmeier would say, just meaning to make Aevery movement precise and crisp.
"As a team we're just going to go out there and do Trojan gymnastics and not fall and crumble," Svalland said. "I think we're going to go out there and do good.
"Personally, I'm just going to try to do new stuff and improve what I already have to make my scores better than they already are."
The WHS JV squad also defeated Pipestone Area Friday night by a score of 120.75-110.35.
PA's Riley Mohlenkamp won the all-around with a score of 26.2, while the Arrows' Shantelle DesMarais came in second with a 25 and WHS's Alyssa Williams took third with a 23.25.
On the vault, there was a three-way tie for first place between WHS's Williams, Anna Kopesell and Tori Svalland, who all scored an 8.35. Stephanie Jaycox and PA's Lizzey Breczinkski tied for second with an 8.2 and Mohlenkamp took third with an 8.1.
On the bars, WHS's Kara Honius took first with a 7.3, Hanna Huisman took second with a 7.1 and the Arrows' Hailey Manderschied took third with a 7.05.
DesMarais took first on the beam with a 7.5, Williams took second with a 7.25 and Jaycox took third with a 7.0.
And on the floor exercise, Hayenga took first with an 8.25, Honius took second with an 8.05 and Jaycox came in third with a 7.9.
Daily Globe Sports Reporterr Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.