ST. PETER — After matching Eagan with similar scores in the vault and beam, the Stillwater gymnastics team took advantage in the bars and floor exercise to pull away from Eagan for a victory at Saturday’s five-team Gustavus Adolphus Alumni Invitational.
The Ponies (4-0 SEC, 4-0) posted a winning score of 137.05 — their second highest of the season — to outlast the runner-up Wildcats (133.85) while Chanhassen/Chaska followed in third place with a score of 132.25.
Kylie Wittl finished first in three out of four events and the only thing preventing her from a clean sweep was a second-place finish in the beam (8.9). The senior posted the highest score of the meet in the vault (9.4) and uneven bars (9.0) and closed out the meet with a 9.45 in the floor exercise en route to an all-around score of 36.75 — more than a full point clear of runner-up Kat Torres (35.55) of Eagan.
“Kylie capped off another outstanding meet with an awesome floor routine — her best of the season so far,” Stillwater coach Traci Swenson said. “It is so easy to just sit back and enjoy her routine without any worries about mistakes.”
Lillyan Pan finished among the top six in all four events for the Ponies and placed third in the all-around with a score of 34.4. Pan’s top finish came in the uneven bars where she placed third with a score of 8.3. She also placed fourth in the vault (9.1), fifth in the floor (8.8) and sixth in the beam (8.2).
Eagan narrowly clipped the Ponies 36.05-36.0 in the vault and the teams both finished with scores of 33.0 in the beam, but Stillwater outscored the Wildcats in the bars (32.55-30.5) and floor (35.5-34.3).
“Kylie had her best vaults of the season so far,” Swenson said. “She did some work over the holiday break on a more difficult vault, and while she did not compete that vault, the work she did on it translated to her pike tsuk vault — she was higher off the table and had great distance.”
In addition to Wittl and Pan, Sidnee Ronsberg placed sixth with a score of 7.7 to help bolster the Ponies in the bars.
“Sidnee and Skyler Hult both added a more difficult combination to their routines to increase their score potential,” Swenson said. “Lillyan’s bar routine was nearly flawless, giving the judge almost nothing to deduct.”
Stillwater’s depth paid off to create its margin of difference in the beam. Matschi (8.2) and Scottland Adkins (7.7) finished seventh and 13th while Olivia Wyffels (7.2) followed in 17th after providing a strong start in the event.
“Olivia started our beam set with a stuck routine,” Swenson said. “It is always so great when the first gymnast on beam sticks her routine. It sets the tone for the rest of the team and Lillyan followed with a stuck routine as well. Sami is dealing with an injury that makes many of her difficult skills painful, however, she did a great job dealing with that to perform well. She had one fall, but other than that she gave the judge next to nothing to deduct.”
1. Stillwater 137.05; 2. Eagan 133.85; 3. Chanhassen/Chaska 132.25; 4. Buffalo 125.35; 5. St. Paul Johnson 111.2.
Vault (Stillwater 36.0) — 1. Kylie Wittl 9.4; 4. Lillyan Pan 9.1; 5. Sidnee Ronsberg 8.95; 12. Alex Holmberg 8.55; 18. Lauren Thole 8.35.
Uneven bars (Stillwater 32.55) — 1. Kylie Wittl 9.0; 3. Lillyan Pan 8.3; 6. Sidnee Ronsberg 7.7; 8. Skyler Hult 7.55; 17. Natalie Jantschek 7.15.
Beam (Stillwater 33.0) — 2. Kylie Wittl 8.9; 6. Lillyan Pan 8.2; 7. Sami Matschi 8.2; 13. Scottland Adkins 7.7; 17. Olivia Wyffels 7.2.
Floor (Stillwater 35.5) — 1. Kylie Wittl 9.45; 4. Sami Matschi 8.95; 5. Lillyan Pan 8.8; 14. Sidnee Ronsberg 8.3; 19. Alex Holmberg 8.0.
All-around — 1. Kylie Wittl (St) 36.75; 2. Kat Torres (Eag) 35.55; 3. Lillyan Pan (St) 34.4.