GYMNASTICS: WHS's Svalland, 4 Huskies headed to stateLUVERNE — Worthington gymnast Tara Svalland had to sit patiently on Saturday, watching the vault to see if her 9.15 would hold for a trip to state.
LUVERNE — Worthington gymnast Tara Svalland had to sit patiently on Saturday, watching the vault to see if her 9.15 would hold for a trip to state.
It was well worth the wait.
Svalland tied for fourth place at the Section 3A Gymnastics Meet, in an event which the Trojans were the first team to compete.
Martin County Area edged Jackson County Central for the team title, 142.7 to 141.35.
The Magic earned a state berth as a team, but the only way for any of the other gymnasts to qualify was to place fourth or higher in an individual event.
That’s how Svalland, just a freshman, punched her ticket.
“She had a long wait to see if she was going to qualify or not,” Trojans’ head coach Joni Reitmeier said.
Even after the vault competition ended, it still wasn’t clear whether or not Svalland had made the cut — because she and Marshall’s Nikki McNair each scored a 9.15.
In the event of a tie, the “superior judge” gets to make the call.
But the top official had given Svalland and McNair the same mark, meaning each gets to go to state.
It’s quite an accomplishment, according to Reitmeier, especially considering she was one of the first competitiors.
“Judges tend to be a little bit skimpy at the beginning and tend to get a little bit nicer at the end,” Reitmeier said.
“And to think,” the coach added, “she’s only in the ninth grade.”
In the team competition, first and third-place finishes in the all-around scores pushed MCA past JCC for the narrow victory.
Earlier this season, the Huskies had beaten the Magic by nearly the same margin (140.575 to 139.25).
This time, though, MCA came out on top.
The Huskies will still send four competitors to the state meet, however.
Brandi Sether-Hassing took first place on the bars and Morgan Halverson won the balance beam for the Huskies.
Sether-Hassing added a fourth-place finish on the balance beam.
Also for JCC, Briel Hendricksen placed second in the floor exercise and Sydnee Donnelli claimed a pair of third-place finishes in her floor exercise and on the vault.
Third place in the team competition went to Pipestone Area (130.75), Redwood Valley took fourth (128.1) and the Trojans placed sixth place with a 127.55 — half of a tenth behind Marshall.
Other area teams which competed included Luverne (eighth, 124.7) and Windom Area (ninth, 122.175).
The state competition begins Friday at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis.
The vault competition starts there at 11 a.m on Saturday.
Section 3A Results
Martin County Area, 142.7
Jackson County Central, 141.35
Pipestone Area, 130.75
Redwood Valley, 128.1
St. James, 124.825
Windom Area, 122.175
FLOOR — 1. Matraca Steen, MCA, 9.575; 2. Briel Hendricksen, JCC, 9.525; 3. Sydnee Donnelli, JCC, 9.325; 4. Rebecca Steen, MCA, 9.175.
BALANCE BEAM — 1. Morgan Halverson, JCC, 9.425; 2. Paige Breneman, MCA, 9.325; 3. Kelsi Magers, RV, 9.1; 4. Brandi Sether-Hassing, JCC, 8.925.
BARS — 1. Brandi Sether-Hassing, JCC, 9.05; 2. Linnea Erickson, MCA, 9.025; 3. Rebecca Steen, MCA, 8.925; 4. Nikki McNair, Marshall, 8.85.
VAULT — 1. Kelsi Magers, RV, 9.375 (tiebreaker); 2. Paige Breneman, MCA, 9.375; 3. Sydnee Donnelli, JCC, 9.25, 4. (tie) Tara Svalland, WHS, 9.15; Nikki McNair, Marshall, 9.15.
ALL-AROUND — 1. Rebecca Steen, MCA, 35.925; 2. Nikki McNair, Marshall, 35.6; 3. Linnea Erickson, MCA, 35.475; 4. Kelsi Magers, RV, 35.125.