WHS Gymnastics: Worthington outduels LuverneWORTHINGTON — Coach Joni Reitmeier couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate her birthday.
WORTHINGTON — Coach Joni Reitmeier couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate her birthday.
Not only did her Worthington gymnastics team defeat Luverne in a dual Friday, but the Trojans set a new season-high for total points.
Their 136.65-122.45 win was good enough to break their previous season-high by two points. And the girls were definitely pleased with that.
“I think we did so good,” sophomore Paige Kinley said. “We got our season high tonight, which is just so exciting. It’s especially exciting because it’s Joni’s birthday and we just wanted to do really good for her.”
Both Tara Svalland and Kinley placed in the top-3 in the all-around for the Trojans. Svalland took first with a 35.95 and Kinley took second with a 34.825. Luverne’s Melanie Van Meeteren rounded out the place winners with a 30.75 to take third.
Reitmeier said WHS’s best event was the floor exercise where the Trojans “rocked the house.”
Svalland finished first on the floor with a 9.45, Kinley took second with a 9.25 and junior Anna Koepsell finished third on the floor with an 8.925.
Although she was just shy of her personal best of 9.15 in the event, Koepsell thought the floor was her strongest event of the dual.
“My floor routine I switched a little bit of the order around so I was nervous about that, but when I got out there it went really good and I was really happy with the result,” Koepsell said. “I think we all did amazing. We did the best we’ve done all season, especially on the floor.”
The Trojans started the dual off on the bars, where Reitmeier said the girls had a lot of good sets.
Svalland and Kinley tied for first first on bars with an 8.475, Stephanie Jaycox took second with a 7.9 and Luverne’s Van Meeteren took third with a 7.775.
“We did really good on floor and bars especially tonight,” Kinley said. “I was really pleased with my bar routine because I just learned a release move two days ago and I just put it in my routine today. I stuck my landing though, so that was pretty exciting.
“It’s really exciting to learn new skills and get everything going really good. We’re definitely improving a lot. We came into the season getting 120s and now we’re getting high 130s.”
On vault, Svalland took first with a 9.375. Kinley came in second with a 9.0, while Luverne’s Autumn Altman and WHS’s Liz Hayenga tied for third place with an 8.775.
Balance beam continues to be the weak apparatus for the Trojans’, but Reitmeier said she is seeing improvements and thought the girls put together some good routines on the beam Friday.
Svalland took first with an 8.65, Koepsell came in second with an 8.3 and Kinley took third with an 8.1.
“Beam went good for me,” Koepsell said. “I fell off. I probably could’ve stayed on, but sometimes things don’t work out how you want them too. Overall, though, I think I did really good on beam.
“As a team we’re getting getting better and better. We’ve got a couple of weeks left so there’s only room for improvement.”
Luverne’s next meet is Tuesday against St. James, while Worthington takes on Jackson County Central on the road on Tuesday as well.
But with how the team has been doing so far this season, Reitmeier is more excited than nervous for that upcoming dual.
“They did fabulous tonight,” the coach said. “It was the best way to spend a birthday, let’s just say that. I can’t be more proud.
“But we’re getting to the peak of the season and the girls are peaking with that. They’re stronger both mentally and physically and are just peaking at the absolute right time. We’re right on track to be very competitive at that section meet. I’m very excited.”
The JV squad also won its dual against Luverne with a score of 119.2-104.75.
Worthington’s Alyssa Williams took first in the all-around with a 27.4. Luverne’s Marisol Harshorn took second with a 24.75 and Cardinal Shelbie Nath took third with a 23.7.
Williams tied for third on the vault with an 8.0, while Nath took third on the beam with a 6.6.
Jaycox won the vault with an 8.3 and the floor with an 8.05, WHS’s Hanna Huisman took first on the bars with a 7.05 and Hayenga took first on the beam with a 7.35.
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.