Section 3A gymnastics: Trojans to make fifth straight state berth
By DOMINIC BURNS The Globe REDWOOD -- If Minnesota state gymnastics meets were rings, the Worthington Trojans would have one for every finger of the hand. Worthington qualified for the fifth time in a row with a solid victory Saturday in the Sect...
By DOMINIC BURNS
REDWOOD -- If Minnesota state gymnastics meets were rings, the Worthington Trojans would have one for every finger of the hand.
Worthington qualified for the fifth time in a row with a solid victory Saturday in the Section 3A meet.
Worthington scored a 141.750. Martin County Area was a distant second with a 133.675. Jackson County Central had 133.350, Redwood Valley 131.150, Marshall 123.750, Windom/Mountain Lake 123.150, Luverne 120.975, and Pipestone Area 117.025.
“I’m very, very proud,” Worthington head coach Joni Reitmeier exclaimed. “We had a couple of falls, but this team knows how to battle. When someone doesn’t have a great meet, others do.”
The consistent Adrian sophomore, Gracia Elias, won the all-around with a score of 35.9. Emma Stevenson from Redwood Valley placed second with a 34.55, and Marshall’s Saphi McFarquhar placed third with a 34.275.
“I think we did an amazing job as a team.” Elias said. “Just knowing everyone has your back really brought out our best.”
Hali Bullerman, a seventh grader, scored a 8.75 on the uneven parallel bars and placed first in that event for the Trojans. McFarquhar placed second with a 8.725. Worthington’s Taylor Eggers and Elias tied for third with a 8.625.
Elias placed first on the balance beam with a score of 9.1. Stevenson placed second with a 9.025. McKenna Prunty placed third for the Trojans with an 8.975.
Prunty has made an incredible comeback after tearing her ACL last season.
“I’m very happy to be able to compete,” Prunty said, beaming. She competed on the balance beam, floor, and vault.
Bullerman rocked the vault, placing first with a 9.175. Stevenson trailed closely with a 9.1, while the Trojans’ Mekyla Nystrom and Elias tied for third with a 9.0. Worthington’s Kara Thuringer was fifth on vault, with 8.925.
Anna Bachenberg placed first on the floor exercise for the Martin County Area Magic with a 9.225. Elias tied for second with the Magic’s Sabrina Segar with a score of 9.175. Prunty placed fourth with a 9.125, and Presley Eggers placed fifth with a 9.075.
The state team competition is Friday at the University of Minnesota Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis. Several Worthington gymnasts will also compete in the individual tournament on Saturday: Elias on floor, beam, vault, bars and all-around; Prunty on floor and beam; Bullerman on vault and bars; Nystrom on vault; Thuringer on vault; and Eggers on bars.
The senior Eggers, always a strong all-around competitor, was only able to compete on bars Saturday due to an injury.
Jackson County Central’s Carson Schneekloth qualified on the balance beam.
The meet also took time to thank Martin County Area Magic coaches LeAnn and Brian Steen who are retiring from coaching after this season. LeAnn has coached gymnastics for 32 years, and her husband Brian has helped coach for 18 years.
Reitmeier was distinguished as the Section 3A coach of the year, and assistant Worthington coach Junior Nguyen was honored as the Section 3A assistant coach of the year.
The Trojans also took Section 3A Academic Team honors with a 3.944 collective GPA.