Gymnastics: Ponies post third straight victory
OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Another solid performance netted the Stillwater gymnastics team its third straight victory to start the season.
The Ponies (3-0 SEC, 3-0) posted the top individual score in three of four events on the way to a 131.375-125.925 victory over East Ridge on Thursday at Stillwater Area High School.
Kylie Wittl posted an all-around score of 35.5 to lead the Ponies, a score that was more than two points higher than runner-up Kelly McKenzie (33.475) of East Ridge.
The Ponies (32.375) outscored East Ridge (28.3) by a whopping 4.075 points in the bars, led by Wittl with a score of 9.025. Teammates Lillyan Pan (8.025) and Natalie Jantschek (7.675) followed in second and third place in the event. Sidnee Ronsberg closed out the scoring with a 7.65.
“Natalie is getting more confident with her routine, making her giant swings easily with good form and execution,” Ponies coach Traci Swenson said. “Lillyan Pan also had a more confident routine, performing her skills consistently with smooth connections. Kylie anchored our bars set with an outstanding routine. She easily made her release move and finished with a double-back flyaway.”
Wittl also posted the top score in the beam (9.1) and floor exercise (9.1) while Pan finished second overall after receiving Stillwater’s high score in the vault (8.775).
Pan (8.4), Ronsberg (8.35) and Maddie Steffl (7.725) completed the scoring in the floor while Annie Seiler made her varsity debut while receiving a score of 7.475.
“She made all of her tumbling skills and had an energetic and fun performance,” Swenson said of Seiler. “She has worked really hard to improve her difficulty and now can begin to focus more on cleaning up her execution.
“Lillyan had another beautiful routine. She is very graceful and polished in her dance and tumbling. She worked this week to increase her difficulty, adding in a new bonus dance skill and combination. Some additional time and practice with the new skills will increase her score potential. Kylie finished a great meet with another outstanding routine. Her tumbling was consistent and clean, leaving the judges little room for deductions.”
Stillwater’s top team score came in the vault where Alex Holmberg (8.675), Lauren Thole (8.35) and Wittl (8.275) were not far behind Pan.
“Lauren landed a clean tuck tsukahara vault with a clean landing,” Swenson said. “This vault is fairly new for Lauren, so it was really exciting when she had a solid vault with a good landing. We have a lot of girls working on the tsukahara vaults and competing them. It’s really great for us to have the girls competing this vault early in the season. Now we need to focus more on landings and eliminating execution deductions.”
n Also on Thursday, the Stillwater JV team recorded a 122.6-112.25 win over the Raptors. Sidnee Ronsberg delivered Stillwater’s top performance in the vault (8.3) while teammates Skyler Hult (8.1) in the bars, Lauren Thole (7.4) in the beam and Thalia Anderson (7.95) in the floor also led the way for the Ponies.
East Ridge 125.925
Vault (Stillwater 34.075) — 2. Lillyan Pan 8.775; 3. Alex Holmberg 8.675; Lauren Thole 8.35; Kylie Wittl 8.275; Sami Matschi 7.65.
Uneven bars (Stillwater 32.375) — 1. Kylie Wittl 9.025; 2. Lillyan Pan 8.025; 3. Natalie Jantshchek 7.675; Sidnee Ronsberg 7.65; Sami Matschi 7.275.
Beam (Stillwater 31.35) — 1. Kylie Wittl 9.1; 3. Sami Matschi 8.425; Scottland Adkins 7.025; Thalia Anderson 6.8; Lillyan Pan 6.6.
Floor (Stillwater 33.575) — 1. Kylie Wittl 9.1; 3. Lillyan Pan 8.4; Sidnee Ronsberg 8.35; Maddie Steffl 7.725; Annie Seiler 7.475.
All-around — 1. Kylie Wittl (St) 35.5; 2. Kelly McKenzie (ER) 33.475; 3. Libby Lawrence (ER) 32.1; 4. Lillyan Pan (St) 31.8; 5. Lauren Laforte (ER) 30.275.