WHS gymnasts score 143.525 points
WORTHINGTON -- Before a packed house on Senior Night, the Worthington girls gymnastics team on Thursday honored what soon will be a particularly fine past -- and what promises to be a fantastic future.
The crowd at the Worthington Learning Center/Gymnastics Facility roared its approval throughout in a stunning display of affection.
“I know,” said Trojan sophomore Mekyla Nystrom with a grin. “The crowd was awesome. The (pep) band, too. It really brought everybody’s energy up. It was so exciting.”
The Trojans, ranked seventh among Class A teams, scored a season-high 143.525 points in a victory over the Marshall Tigers (126.075).
“They performed really well,” said Trojans’ head coach Joni Reitmeier. “We still have a little work to do on the balance beam. We had a couple of falls we need to clean up, but other than that they performed really, really well.”
Especially eighth-grader Hali Bullerman.
“Hali’s an amazing gymnast,” Reitmeier said.
Bullerman won the vault (9.40) and the all-around (36.675). She also tied with teammate Gracia Elias for first place in the floor exercise (9.325) and finished second to Marshall’s Saphi McFarquhar (9.00) in the uneven parallel bars.
Bullerman is clearly a special talent.
“I’ve had her since she was about four years old and she’s always just ‘had’ it, that competitive edge,” Reitmeier said. “She’s fearless. Just a true competitor, for sure.”
Elias, a junior, and Nystrom were also exceptional; they placed second and third, respectively, in the all-around.
The Trojans have qualified for the state meet the last five years and last February placed seventh at the big competition. What makes this Worthington program so dominant?
Certainly there is family feel to the squad, a fact evidenced as tears flowed amid hugs all-around during Senior Night festivities.
“We’re all Trojans here,” said Reitmeier. “These girls have all competed together on my club team since like the second grade.”
Nystrom said it’s a great thing to be part of such a fine program.
“The dedication that Joni has for this team and the love everybody has for this team is what makes it so special,” Nystrom said. “It’s really is.”
The Trojans will compete at the Class A True Team state meet this weekend in Melrose. Worthington plays host to the Section 3A meet on Feb. 15. The State Meet is Feb. 21-22 at Don Wilkins Auditorium, which is down the hall from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
In Thursday’s junior varsity competition, meanwhile, Worthington defeated Marshall 133.900-100.450. Winners included WHS’s Mia Nixon (8.750 in vault), Olivia Barber (7.800 in bars) and Kara Thuringer (8.80 on beam). Ivy Jenson won all-around (33.400) and tied with Nixon for first place in floor exercise (8.800).