Trojans look to achieve their dreams
At the start of the gymnastics season, the Worthington Trojans set a motto to "Dream Big." The team hopes dreaming big will now mean a trip to the state gymnastics meet. Worthington, JCC and Luverne will be among the teams taking part in the Sect...
At the start of the gymnastics season, the Worthington Trojans set a motto to "Dream Big."
The team hopes dreaming big will now mean a trip to the state gymnastics meet.
Worthington, JCC and Luverne will be among the teams taking part in the Section 3A tournament today at Jackson County Central High School. The top team in the standings will qualify for the state meet, while the top four in each individual category -- including the all-around -- will also advance to the state meet next Friday in St. Paul.
The meet is scheduled to begin at noon.
WHS head coach Shelly Eklund is excited about how the team is looking entering the sectional, following a hard-working week of practice. And, to make things better, the team is in as good of a physical condition as it has been all season long.
"We have everybody back, and they're healthy," Eklund said. "Knock on wood."
Two of those gymnasts, Christina Sorensen (ankle) and Kelli Luitjens (arm) have been battling injuries over the last few weeks, but are both close to 100 percent entering today's sectional.
Sorensen is the lone returning member of the Trojans who took part at last year's state meet, finishing 30th in the all-around.
Team chemistry has been one of the main strengths of the Trojans this year. While it is something the group focuses on every year, Eklund pointed out how this year's group has been able to come together as a team, supporting each other in the process.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that Eklund has been a solid resource for the team, driving home the importance of being a cohesive unit.
"A lot of my teams have been very strong in the teamwork area because they have a coach that emphasizes that all the time," she said.
Teamwork will be very important today, too, with the Trojans facing a number of quality opponents.
"The bottom line for them is working on their confidence, and working to believe in themselves" Eklund said. "As far as events go, bars is the one area we focused on, but we give the same amount of focus to all the events."
As for JCC, the Huskies return two gymnasts who reached the state meet in 2005. Kylla Bargfrede advanced in the all-around competition last year, while Brenna Munoz took part in the bars.
Both are hoping for a chance to improve on last year's results, when Bargfrede was 27th in the all-around and Munoz took an 8.5, finishing out of the places.
Every team will need to perform at a high level, especially considering the number of quality teams taking part, if they are to advance through to the state meet. It is a point clearly not lost on Eklund.
Our sectional is a very talented section," Eklund said. "Martin County West, Jackson (County Central), Luverne Marshall and New Ulm all have strong programs, good feeder programs. They have awesome coaches that focus on improving their individuals.
"I think it will be an exciting meet."