Trojan gymnasts make strong start to season with 139.350 points

There were no falls on the balance beam for the WHS gymnastics team Tuesday, and Olivia Barber won two events plus the all-around

Worthington Trojan Addison Gerber celebrates with head gymnastics coach Joni Reitmeier after her bars routine Tuesday in a meet with Luverne.
Worthington Trojan Addison Gerber celebrates with head gymnastics coach Joni Reitmeier after her bars routine Tuesday in a meet with Luverne.
Tim Middagh/The Globe
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WORTHINGTON -- In their first meet of the 2022-23 gymnastics season Tuesday night, the Worthington Trojans had no falls on the balance beam and rolled to a 139.350 to 130.325 victory over Luverne in Worthington.

“Hopefully that continues,” said a happy WHS head coach Joni Reitmeier. “They’ve been working very hard on everything. We had some difficulties on vault. That’s the first meet. But that’s really great that they can come out on the beam. … Five in a row, that’s amazing. A coach can always be excited about that.”

Junior Olivia Barber, who placed first on the beam and also first on the uneven parallel bars, achieved a first in the all-around as well, with a score of 35.575.

Luverne Ella Reisdorfer is cheered on by the Cardinals gymnastics team during a Tuesday evening competition against host Worthington.
Luverne's Ella Reisdorfer is cheered on by the Cardinals gymnastics team against host Worthington.
Tim Middagh/The Globe

The balance beam is described by many gymnasts as the most troublesome event in the sport. Worthington took on the beam in its third rotation, immediately after the vault, and the girls fed off each others’ performances to go 5-for-5.

“We’ve been working incredibly hard on the beam and trying to get all the routines stuck,” said Barber, whose beam score was 9.375. She scored an 8.375 on the bars and a second-place 9.125 score on the team’s final event, the floor exercise. She was sixth on the vault.


Two firsts and an all-around first, besides. Not bad for the first meet of the season.

“The team support always helps, and the coaches. It’s just amazing the support they give us,” Barber said after the meet. “I was not expecting that (the firsts). I came with high hopes and confidence. I wasn’t thinking about the scores.”

Teammate Kelsey Soleta won the vaulting competition with a 9.150. Another Trojan, Addison Gerber, was first in the floor exercise with 9.250.

Participating teams are Becker, Benson, Big Lake, Byron, Detroit Lakes, Mankato West, Melrose, New London-Spicer, St. Peter, and Worthington.
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.

Gerber finished fourth in vault (8.900), tied for third on bars (7.950) and tied for fourth on beam (8.750) on the way to a second-place all-around score of 34.850.

Soleta was third in the all-around (34.500). Besides winning the vault, she was fourth on bars (7.875) and third on beam (9.125).

Worthington’s Cristy Banegas finished second on beam (9.150) after completing her routine with an outstanding twisting dismount. She tied for third on vault (7.950) and placed third on floor (9.025) en route to a fourth-place 34.425 in the all-around.

WHS competed without its most decorated performer, junior Hali Bullerman, who is nursing a wrist injury sustained at the end of volleyball season.

“It was a great start. We are kind of a reconfigured team this year,” said Reitmeier. “We have some new girls mixed with some veterans. And so it’s just learning how to gain confidence and compete as a whole.”


Luverne’s Amira Cowell placed second on vault (9.125) and second on bars (7.975). Cardinal Ella Reisdorfer was third on vault (9.050) and tied for fourth on beam (8.750) and floor (8.900).

Worthington won the junior varsity meet 139.350 to 130.325. Firsts were turned in by Trojans Mia Nixon on vault (8.450) and beam (8.300), Claire Meyer on bars (7.400), Brooklyn Dykstra on floor (8.000) and Jordis Weber in the all-around (30.700).

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
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