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The Drill: Hali Bullerman a perky, purposeful warrior for gymnastics

Worthington Trojans gymnast Hali Bullerman, while bravely fighting a wrist injury, is a leader on the team

Worthington Trojans gymnast Hali Bullerman is a strong and fearless competitor.
Worthington Trojans gymnast Hali Bullerman is a strong and fearless competitor.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON -- When Hali Bullerman spoke about her future in gymnastics last week -- a future that wasn’t particularly promising, in fact -- she smiled easily and broadly.

If it were you, you might want to turn the corners of your mouth into a frown. But the Adrian High School junior loves life, and part of her appeal in gymnastics is that smiling comes naturally.

Out on the gym floor, during meets, Hali admitted that there are times when smiling isn’t always what you want to do. But she explained how you smile, anyway.

“There are times when you don’t want to smile,” she said, smiling. “If you come off a bad beam routine, or a bad event, you’re not going to want to smile. But you look at your teammates and they’re all smiling at you, so why don’t you want to smile? You should want to smile when people are smiling back at you.”

Bullerman is an All-Red Rock Conference libero with the Adrian/Ellsworth Dragons volleyball team. Her willingness to put herself on the floor to save the ball is a testament to her aggressive, go-getter attitude. But it also caused her injury shortly before starting her 2022-23 gymnastics season with the Worthington Trojans.

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“By the end of the year we played really well by upsetting HL-O/F (Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda) in our first section game,” she recalled recently. “I injured my wrist just playing volleyball by hitting it on the floor multiple times. I just thought of it as a bruise, like nothing else. Then I went in and found out that that wasn’t the case. I tore the tendon in my left wrist, and then there’s some nerve damage. So my grip isn’t fully strengthened. I might have to have surgery, but I’m gonna find out soon if I have to have that.”

In a few days, Bullerman will know if she’ll be able to continue her outstanding gymnastics career. For the past two years, at least, she’s been a mainstay on a state tournament caliber WHS squad, and she’s supplemented that with performances in the individual portion of the state tourney, too.

“If I do have surgery, it’s a 6-to-12-month recovery, and there’s a possibility of not returning at all for my high school career. It’s really sad. Gymnastics has been a part of my life since I was 3 years old. And just the thought of not doing it is really hard,” she said.

Till we know for sure, Worthington gymnastics fans will be crossing their fingers and hoping Bullerman can continue. She’s a treat -- a dynamo of a performer with a thoroughly winning personality who makes gymnastics look as effortless as it is, in reality, a very difficult sport.

MORE GYMNASTICS
Better scores on balance beam leads to success
WORTHINGTON – The Worthington Trojans gymnastics team cruised to a team score of 141.025 in a three-team meet on Tuesday night. Competing against WHS was Blue Earth Area with a score of 126.775 and Marshall with 120.25.
The Worthington Trojans earned their highest-ever place at a Minnesota Class A True Team meet with a score of 174.525. Big Lake won the meet with a score of 176.2.

Hali is this week’s Globe Drill subject this week. You can see a video of her performing in practice (she’s allowed to do a few simple moves while she awaits her fate) online at www.dglobe.com . Here’s a sample of our interview:

QUESTION: What is your favorite event in gymnastics?

ANSWER: “In gymnastics my favorite event is probably floor (exercise), because it’s the last event. It’s super fun. You get to dance and smile. You get to tumble. It’s just really a fun event. And then your teammates are doing your dance moves with you, and it’s just -- the atmosphere is amazing.”

QUESTION: What is your secret to gymnastics success?

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ANSWER: “My personal secret to success in gymnastics is probably really trusting my coaches and my teammates. In practice you have to rely on your coaches to catch you when you fall, and you have to rely on your teammates when it comes down to competition, because one person isn’t gonna win the meet. Your team has to come together and make that decision to go out and do your best. Joni (head coach Joni Reitmeier) really does stress team. She is all about teamwork and leadership.”

QUESTION: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your sports career?

ANSWER: “My most valuable piece of advice I’ve probably received as an athlete is just to go out and do what you know how to do best. Yes, you may be the best team, you may be the worst team, but no matter what, you just gotta go out and be your best. Because if you don’t, you’ll never know what you could have accomplished.”

Related Topics: THE DRILLGYMNASTICSWORTHINGTON TROJANS
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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