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Fifth in eighth; Trojan gymnasts get fifth place in 2022 state team meet

The Worthington Trojans, competing in their eighth consecutive state team gymnastics tournament, placed fifth Friday at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul

Worthington Trojans.jpg

ST. PAUL -- Competing in their eighth consecutive Minnesota state Class A team gymnastics meet, the Worthington Trojans secured a solid fifth-place finish Friday night at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul.

The Trojans posted a 36.175 score on vault, 34.2 on the uneven parallel bars, 34.65 on balance beam and 36.925 on floor exercise for a 141.950 total.

Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka won the title with 145.750. Mankato West was second with 145.600, followed by Big Lake 145.000, New London-Spicer 142.125, Worthington, Detroit Lakes 140.575, Mahtomedi 139.850 and Byron 137.725.

On vault, Worthington’s first event, Bullerman hit 9.175, Nystrom 9.125, Kelsey Soleta 9.025, Kenadie Thiner 8.85, and Bristow 8.75.

“We started off really good. We went five-for-five on vault but still didn’t get the scores we wanted to get,” said WHS head coach Joni Reitmeier.

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On beam, things did not go nearly as well for the Section 3 champs. Bullerman had the team’s best score with a 9.20. Bristow had an 8.60, Gerber 8.50, Nystrom 8.35, and Barber 8.30.

There were three falls from the beam.

“Any time you have falls, the next girl up feels a little bit more pressure,” Reitmeier said. “That makes nerves worse when you know you need a stick to help the team.”

On bars, Nystrom scored 8.90, Bullerman 8.75, Barber 8.575, Bristow 7.975 and Soleta 7.30.

In 2020, the Trojans were also fifth in the state Class A team tournament, with a 141.3. They were sixth last year with 142.075.

For most of the 2021-22 season, the floor exercise has been a strong event for the Trojans, and Hali Bullerman had the team’s best score with a 9.475. Mekyla Nystrom and Abby Bristow both scored 9.2, Addison Gerber had a 9.050 and Olivia Barber got an 8.950.

“We ended strong on floor, and that’s really good,” Reitmeier declared.

The Trojans’ team score at the state meet was less than it’s been for most of the regular season, where it has hovered around 143 up to 145. But this is a bigger meet, and it would be no surprise to anyone that judges expect more.

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“It’s always tougher at state,” Reitmeier said. “And if you look at the scores all around, nobody scored what they normally score.”

Worthington is the best at state in at least one important category, however. At the banquet before Friday’s competition, the Trojans were announced as the state academic champions for the second year in a row.

On Saturday (Feb. 19), several members of Worthington’s outstanding gym squad will be back in action at Roy Wilkins Auditorium for the individual state meet. Bullerman and Nystrom will compete in the all-around competition. Bristow is on floor, beam and vault. Barber is on bars, beam and floor. Soleta is on bars and vault. And Thiner is on vault.

In the afternoon Class AA session, Wayzata prevailed with 146.2 points, followed by New Prague with 145.725, St. Cloud 145.550, Stillwater Area 145.350, St. Michael-Albertville 142.500, Owatonna 142.325, Rosemount 139.925 and Elk River/Zimmerman 139.800.

Related Topics: GYMNASTICS
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