Gymnastics: Ponies finish second at St. Cloud Tech


ST. CLOUD — Stillwater exceeded its previous season best by more than eight points and also eclipsed the 140-point mark while placing second at Saturday’s Team Pride Invitational at St. Cloud Tech.

The Ponies finished second behind the Tigers in all four events to total a score of 140.4 — marking the earliest Stillwater has surpassed 140 since its memorable 2007-08 team. The Ponies were also competing without one of their top performers Lillyan Pan, who was ill. Tech finished with a winning score of 147.5 while Eagan trailed in third place out of seven teams with a score of 134.9.

“The 140 score is always a target that we strive to reach during the season,” Stillwater coach Traci Swenson said. “It was really exciting to see the girls do such a great job on ever event.”

Stillwater’s top score came in the vault, which was its final event. Alex Holmberg (9.35), Kylie Wittl (9.25) and Sidnee Ronsberg (9.0) each posted scores in the nines. Sami Matschi (8.65) and Lauren Thole (8.6) were not far behind as the Ponies turned in a team score of 36.25.

“It was really exciting to have the entire team land their vaults. We’re looking forward to focusing on cleaning up the landings and increasing the difficulty as we head into January,” Swenson said.

Wittl, who finished with an all-around score of 36.15, turned in Stillwater’s top score in the previous three events — including a 9.3 in the uneven bars. The team’s score of 35.35 was easily its best this season, with Natalie Jantschek contributing a 9.0. Skyler Hult followed with an 8.6 and Maddie Steffl contributed an 8.45. Sidnee Ronsberg wasn’t far behind with an 8.4.

“We got off to a fantastic start on the bars with season-high scores for the entire team,” Swenson said. “Sidnee has been working on improving her execution, which showed on Saturday, and Maddie also had improved execution in her routine. Skyler had a small break on the high bar, but otherwise she had great execution. Natalie scored a 9.0 for the first time — her confidence in her routine has increased each week. Kylie finished our set with another great routine, one of the best of the meet.

“The bars scores were more generous than we have had in the past, but regardless, it was our best bar set of the season so far.”

Wittl paced Stillwater with an 8.8 in the beam while Scottland Adkins followed with an 8.7. Thole (8.6) and Matschi (8.3) closed out the scoring.

“Only counting one fall on beam was good for the team,” Swenson said.

Matschi overcame an issue with the music during her floor routine to earn a score of 8.65, which was not far behind Wittl’s team-leading 8.8. Ronsberg (8.5) and Thalia Anderson (8.45) also factored into the scoring for the Ponies.

“There was some trouble with (Matschi’s) music midway through her routine, so she had to finish without music,” Swenson said. “She did a great job continuing her routine, without any deductions due to the music, making all of her tumbling passes and keeping all of her dance clean. Thalia followed with one of her best floor routines of her career and Scottland continued the set with a great routine as well. Sidnee had her best routine of the season. Kylie anchored floor for us as well. She had an error in her second tumbling pass, which cost her an event requirement, but she minimized the error by being nearly flawless in the rest of her routine.”

n Also on Saturday, the Ponies posted a score of 123.15 to place third behind St. Cloud Tech (129.7) and Cambridge-Isanti (125.8) in the nine-team JV competition. Top scorers for Stillwater included Natalie Jantschek in the vault (8.4), Sami Matschi in the bars (8.3), Skyler Hult (7.0) and Alex Holmberg (7.0) in the beam and Holmberg (8.25) and Annie Seiler (8.25) in the floor.


Team standings

1. St. Cloud Tech 147.5; 2. Stillwater 140.4; 3. Eagan 134.9; 4. Cambridge-Isanti 133.45; 5. Sartell 131.6; 6. Buffalo 130.6; 7. St. Francis 125.3.

Stillwater results

Vault (Stillwater 36.25) — Alex Holmberg 9.35; Kylie Wittl 9.25; Sidnee Ronsberg 9.0; Sami Matschi 8.65 and Lauren Thole 8.6.

Uneven bars (Stillwater 35.35) — Kylie Wittl 9.3; Natalie Jantschek 9.0; Skyler Hult 8.6; Maddie Steffl 8.45 and Sidnee Ronsberg 8.4.

Beam (Stillwater 34.4) — Kylie Wittl 8.8; Scottland Adkins 8.7; Lauren Thole 8.6; Sami Matschi 8.3 and Thalia Anderson 7.5.

Floor (Stillwater 34.4) — Kylie Wittl 8.8; Sami Matschi 8.65; Sidnee Ronsberg 8.5; Thalia Anderson 8.45 and Scottland Adkins 8.2.

All-around — Kylie Wittl (St) 36.15.