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Trojan gymnasts hit best score of season prior to True Team

Coming at just the right time, the Worthington High School gymnastics team posted a 144.175 score Thursday against Marshall.

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WORTHINGTON -- Coach Joni Reitmeier says that she and her gymnasts don’t talk much about trying to set new team scoring marks.

“Mostly we talk about just trying to hit routines. It’s really all about having fun and being consistent and hitting all our routines. But usually we’re just a little off on one event.”

Reitmeier admitted that her Worthington Trojans weren’t perfect in their 144.175 to 121.100 victory over visiting Marshall Thursday night, but they were about as close to it as they’d gotten yet in the 2021-22 campaign. That 144.175 was their highest team score this season.

And it comes at a good time. On Saturday (Jan. 22) the Trojan tumblers compete in the Class A True Team competition in Melrose, and that’s an event that gets circled on every gymnast’s calendar. Worthington will go against nine of the other top 10 Class A teams in the state.

Worthington Trojans Mekyla Nystrom makes a leap during her floor exercise in a meet with the visiting Marshall Tigers Thursday evening.
Worthington Trojans gymnast Mekyla Nystrom makes a leap during her floor exercise with the visiting Marshall Tigers Thursday evening.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

“That’s going to really show you where you’re at among the best,” Reitmeier said.

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On Thursday, the Trojans found themselves in a very good spot. They started on the uneven parallel bars where senior Mekyla Nystrom showed off her athleticism for a first-place 8.850 score, and sophomore Hali Bullerman attacked it in a free-swinging, seemingly effortless performance for a second-place 8.8.

They placed well on their second event, too, the vault. Bullerman won with a 9.375, Nysrom was second with 9.350, Kelsey Soleta was third with 9.2, Kenadie Thiner fourth with 9.125 and Addison Gerber fifth with 8.9.

Next, WHS competitors had three falls on the balance beam, but Bullerman and Olivia Barber had none. The routines were otherwise sharp. Bullerman was first with a 9.4. Barber was second with 9.025, followed by Abigail Bristow (9.0), Nystrom (8.4) and Gerber (7.850).

Worthington Trojans Addison Gerber is cheered by team members as she lines up a run during her floor exercise in a meet with the visiting Marshall Tigers Thursday evening.
Addison Gerber is cheered by her WHS teammates as she lines up a run during her floor exercise Thursday evening.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

The Trojans always love to show off their personalities on the floor exercise, and they never waste an opportunity. They came through again Thursday in their final event, with Bullerman scoring 9.450, Nystrom 9.325, and Barber, Gerber and Bristow 9.250 each.

“If you’re out there having fun, the people watching you are having fun. And I think the judges enjoy watching you do something you look like you enjoy,” Reitmeier said.

Trojans Olivia Barber rotates through a flip during her floor exercise as fans and teammates watch at a meet with the visiting Marshall Tigers in Worthington  Thursday evening
Trojan Olivia Barber rotates through a flip during her floor exercise as fans and teammates watch.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

Bullerman scored a very solid 37.025 in the all-around while Nystrom was second with 35.925. Marshall’s Cameen McFarquhar was third with 33.075.

Reitmeier, never one to let herself become fully satisfied, came about as close to it as she usually gets when looking at the 144.175 score.

“I think we still have a little bit of improvement to make on the balance beam, but real consistent on all the events,” she summed up.

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Worthington was equally impressive in the junior varsity meet, scoring 132.2 points to Marshall’s 92.850. Bristow won the bars (7.65) and vault (8.95) events, Soleta won the floor (9.1) and Mia Nixon won the beam (8.4) while getting a first-place all-around score of 32.65.

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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