Trojan gymnasts surpass 141 on Senior Night


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 Trojans’ victory came with some atypical errors on beam, but some exhaustion was expected after meets last Thursday against Redwood Valley and on Saturday at the Minnesota Class A True Team meet.

The Trojan gymnastics team celebrated their Senior Night. Graduating seniors are Kelsey Soleta, Bryn Donkersloot, Mia Nixon and manager Taya Elias.

“Before Swags, Joni (coach Joni Reitmeier) asked me if I was going to compete and I told her no,” said Soleta on her memories of gymnastics. “And she said, ‘Well then, what are you doing here?’ Now here I am competing for the last however many years.”


“In Swags I made a bet with my mom that if I stuck my beam routine I got a new leotard. Lo and behold, I stuck my beam routine so I got the new leo,” said Donkersloot. “Then in high school after my back surgery to come and be back in the gym was a good time.”


“In High School one of my favorite memories was face planting at a JV meet and then seeing a judge laughing,” said Nixon with a grin.

“Just meeting all the girls and forming connections with all them,” said Elias. “Every single day I am in the office working on things for Joni, Kelsey pops in and scares me.”

The Trojans started their meet on bars. Hali Bullerman led all scorers in the event with an 8.9, and Olivia Barber had a strong performance to score an 8.55. Cristy Banegas had a confident performance of the giant skill, in which the gymnasts rotates at a full extension around the top bar. Banegas has been performing the skill in her last few meets, and on Tuesday she scored well with an 8.425. Soleta was the final team scorer for WHS with a 7.975.

Bullerman had an incredible performance on the vault event as she scored a 9.5. Soleta, an incredible vault performer as well, scored a 9.2. Banegas and Addison Gerber were the other two scorers for WHS with 8.925 and 8.75 respectively. Sophomore Kenadie Thiner made her varsity debut for the season on the vault event.

The 2022-23 Red Rock Conference boys basketball season came to a close last Saturday as Southwest Minnesota Christian lost 98-57 to Russell-Tyler-Ruthton in the Section 3A semifinals
The Worthington High School gymnastics team, which just completed competing in the state tournament, had five athletes named to the 2023 All-Big South Conference team. And the WHS girls hockey team saw one player selected for its team, senior Riley Nickel.
Hali Bullerman finished 10th in the Minnesota Class A gymnastics all around. Kelsey Soleta performed in her final meet as a gymnast for WHS.

The Trojans toughest event of the night was the beam. Falls by several gymnasts deducted scores. The highest scores on the beam were from Gerber and Bullerman who scored 8.8 each. Banegas scored 8.45 and Soleta scored 8.125.

“All of a sudden the beam just kind of became our Achilles Heel, so to speak. We are such a good beam team, and when these girls put it together they are hard to beat on the balance beam,” said Reitmeier. “They do some really difficult things, and I don’t think people realize how hard that is on four inches.”

The Trojans rebounded strong in their final event on the floor. Bullerman dazzled and scored 9.325. Gerber scored high with a 9.175 after implementing a new first pass in her last three meets. Barber scored 9.125 after putting a new front pull in her routine on Saturday, and Banegas scored a 9.0.

Marshall’s Cameen McFarquhar had a strong night in showcasing her skill. McFarquhar was the top scorer on the balance event with 8.95. She also placed fourth on the vault with 8.875, fourth on bars with 8.25, and was fourth in the all-around with a score of 34.425.


Winning the all-around was Bullerman with a 36.525. Banegas scored 34.8 for second, and Gerber scored 34.6 for third. The Worthington junior varsity team scored 128.6.

The Trojans busy schedule continues as they return to action in a home meet against Windom Area on Thursday.

Dominic Burns is a reporter at the Globe who covers general news and sports.
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