PREP GYMNASTICS: Trojans earn big win over SaintsWORTHINGTON — With a few minutes before the final results were announced, both Worthington and St. James had some time to waste. That extra time prompted a joint game of “Ninja” between the two teams following Tuesday’s gymnastics meet.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — With a few minutes before the final results were announced, both Worthington and St. James had some time to waste.
That extra time prompted a joint game of “Ninja” between the two teams following Tuesday’s gymnastics meet.
“We’ve just kind of started doing it because we’re having more fun than we used to,” Worthington’s Tara Svalland said. “We just started doing it as a warm-up one day in practice.”
The Trojans may have been gracious hosts following the meet, but there was nothing kind about the way they treated the Saints during the competition.
Worthington scored a 129.75, while the Saints managed a 113.425.
If the Trojans (5-2) continue to perform this well, a post-meet game of Ninja may become a tradition.
“We take the girls to camp every year and the camp we went to, we learned this new game called ‘Ninja,’” WHS head coach Joni Reitmeier said. “The girls just absolutely adore it. They always want me to play because they think it’s hilarious because I get out first almost every time. It’s just one of those things where it relaxes them. It’s a time to hang out with the other team and get to know those girls.”
After struggling on the balance beam, the Trojans needed something to relax them.
“We always meet up as our varsity tumbling group and we say, ‘What’s done is done. But let’s put on a show. Let’s rock it,’” Reitmeier said. “The girls know they know how to do that.”
And rock it they did.
“After beam we were a little down, but we got together and picked ourselves back up,” Svalland said.
WHS scored a 35.05 as a team on the floor, while St. James had a 30.1.
“I’m very proud that after that disastrous beam, we came to floor and we showed them what Trojan gymnastics is all about,” Reitmeier said. “Even though beam was a bummer, I’m glad we could put that aside and come out and perform like that. I think that everybody that was here was pretty wowed by what they saw. I know I was.”
Svalland saved her best for last, sticking her routine en route to a 9.225 and a first-place finish.
“Floor is probably one of my favorites and I tried a double. So I focused on that and went for that,” Svalland said. “I like going last and floor being last. It’s just fun and everyone gets to see it.”
What everyone saw from Svalland was a first-place showing in every event.
“Overall, it was good, except for beam,” Svalland said of her night. “I just need to stick everything.”
She was first in the vault with a 9.3, bars with an 8.3 and the beam with a 7.725.
“(Vault) was pretty good. I could have done better. I could have brought my chest up at the end,” Svalland said.
Svalland also won the all-around with a 34.55.
“She’s one of those gymnasts that’s maturing,” Reitmeier said. “She started off being a varsity gymnast in seventh grade. She shows that maturity and that confidence. I tell her that she can do it, and she knows in her mind that she can do it. She attacks everything. She goes out there for her team. She does it for herself, but she also does it for her teammates.”
Paige Kinley, who is fully recovered from her elbow injury, had three second-place finishes.
“It’s exciting because I was out for a month and a week. I’m just coming back doing my best,” Kinley said. “I did OK. I want to do better and do harder tricks to where I was before.”
Kinley was second in the vault (8.8), the bars (7.775) and the all-around (32.425).
“Paige is back in full swing,” Reitmeier said. “She’s a phenomenal competitor. To come back from a very serious injury and be able to compete like she did tonight just shows how much she loves gymnastics and that she’s a competitor. She’s going to come out here and give it her best.”
Sam Thuringer was third on the vault with an 8.65, while Stephanie Jaycox was third on the bars (7.7).
Anna Koepsell was third on the beam (7.15) and the floor (8.7).
Worthington scored a 35.25 on the vault, 30.975 on the bars and 28.475 on the beam.
With each of the 13 falls costing the Trojans a half of a point on the beam, a score in the 130s wouldn’t have been out of reach Tuesday night.
“I feel like a broken record because we fell on the balance beam 13 times on varsity, which absolutely killed us,” Reitmeier said. “All the girls know it. We just have to come back and think of a different strategy. We have the skills, we just have to stay on with those. The girls know if we stick it, that’s like a 135. That puts us right up there with the big dogs. I think they can taste it, so hopefully that will motivate them. Overall, we have a fabulous night.”
The Trojan junior varsity also had a solid night, scoring a 113.6 — higher than the St. James varsity.
“It is a great score for my JV,” Reitmeier said. “It’s three points higher than our last meet, which is a big deal in gymnastics. They just keep getting better and that’s what makes our varsity better.”
Jaycox was first on the vault (8.3) and the floor (7.6). Genevieve Bern won the bars (6.8), while Allison Vote claimed first on the beam (7.0).
Kara Honius won the all-around with a 27.4.
The Trojans will be at Luverne on Friday.