A solid 6th: Worthington scores 142.075 points in seventh straight state gym meet

Competing in their seventh consecutive Minnesota state Class A tournament on Friday, the Worthington Trojans placed sixth in the eight-team field at Champlin Park High School.

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Worthington Trojans gymnastics head coach Joni Reitmeier and assistant Junior Nguyen (far left) celebrate with the team as Mekyla Nystrom exits after completing her floor routine during the Section 3A gymnastics meet. WHS placed sixth as a team in Friday night in state competition. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

CHAMPLIN PARK -- Competing in their seventh consecutive Minnesota state Class A tournament on Friday, the Worthington Trojans placed sixth in the eight-team field at Champlin Park High School.

Competing in the second of two Class A sessions, coach Joni Reitmeier’s Trojans scored 142.075 points. Watertown-Mayer/Mound Westonka scored 146.350 to win the team competition. Next, in order, were Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa (146.025), Mankato West (143.750), Perham/New York Mills (143.675), New London-Spicer (142.4), Worthington, Big Lake (141.925) and St. Paul Highland Park (131.750).

Besides participating in the team competition, Worthington sent four individuals -- senior Gracia Elias, juniors Mekyla Nystrom and Abby Bristow, and freshman Hali Bullerman -- into the individual tournament.

Bullerman placed 14th overall in the all-around with a combined score of 36.0. She finished 11th on the balance beam with a 9.10 score, was 22nd on vault (9.35) and 28th on the uneven parallel bars (8.625) and floor exercise (8.925).

Elias was 15th in the all-around with a 35.8 score. She was 14th on beam (8.968), 14th on floor (9.175), 31st on bars (8.575) and 34th on vault (9.1).


Nystrom had the highest individual score of all the Trojans, placing 10th on the vault with 9.425. She was 30th on floor, with an 8.925, and 34th on bars, 8.525.

Bristow scored a 9.100 for 17th place on floor, and she hit 8.875 on beam for 22nd.

Four other area gymnasts competed in the individual portion of the tournament. Jackson County Central’s Payten Benda was 34th on the balance beam with a 7.60 score. Ella Reisdorfer of Luverne placed 18th on the beam with an 8.90. Pipestone Area’s Kindra Douty was 31st on bars with an 8.00. And Brooklyn Paulson of Windom/Mountain Lake was 44th on vault with an 8.550.

On Monday, Reitmeier pronounced herself happy with the Trojans’ performances.

“We really performed well. You go to state and you’re going against the best of the best. I think we performed better than the score indicated. … Maybe the judging was a little bit tighter,” she said.

Though the tournament was changed from in past years -- in a new location and formatted into two sessions, with both teams and individuals competing together -- Reitmeier said her girls held up well. The crowd was smaller than in normal years, she said, but the Trojans received extra support from the extra performers from Section 3.

Elias has been to six state tournaments, going back to her seventh-grade year. But some of the other Trojans competed at the highest level for the first time, including Cristy Banegas (vault), Olivia Barber (bars), Addison Gerber (beam and floor) and Ivy Jenson (vault).

There is a bright future ahead for the program, Reitmeier said.


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Tom Goehle, son of legendary coach Hugo Goehle, was once a star athlete at Hills-Beaver Creek High School. Now he gives back through coaching and his involvement in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.