Gymnastics: Ponies finish fifth at Lakeville North


Junior Lillyan Pan competes in the floor exercise on Saturday to help the Stillwater gymnastics team to a fifth-place finish at the Lakeville North Invitational. (Gazette-ECM photo by Rick Orndorf)
Junior Lillyan Pan competes in the floor exercise on Saturday to help the Stillwater gymnastics team to a fifth-place finish at the Lakeville North Invitational. (Gazette-ECM photo by Rick Orndorf)

LAKEVILLE — With many of the top gymnastics teams in the state participating, Stillwater placed fifth at Saturday’s Lakeville North Invite with a score of 138.325.

Roseville posted a winning score of 148.9 to outlast top-ranked Northfield while Class A power Melrose followed in third place with a score of 145.9. Park, which the Ponies defeated in a dual meet earlier this season, followed in fourth place with a score of 140.53 — meaning three of the top five teams were from the SEC.

“We were very happy with the team’s fifth-place finish and score,” Ponies coach Traci Swenson said.

Stillwater’s top scores came in the first two events, including a 34.25 in the floor and a 36.4 in the vault. Lillyan Pan (8.95) edged teammate Kylie Wittl (8.9) to provide the top score for the Ponies in the floor. Sidnee Ronsberg (8.4) and Sami Matschi (8.0) also factored into the scoring in the event.

“At the Lakeville meet, the girls warm up in the upstairs gymnastics gym and then come down to compete in the large gym on a different floor,” Swenson said. “With only the three-minute touch warm-up to get used to the floor, it is always a challenge to adjust tumbling technique.

“Lillyan is so graceful and polished with her dance and presentation. She continues to improve each week, increasing difficulty and showing more confidence. She is always so clean with her execution that she leaves very little for the judges to deduct. Kylie missed one of her tumbling passes, but the rest of her routine was so well done that the error was minimal in her score.”

Three Ponies scored in the 9s in vault, led by Wittl with a score of 9.55 — good enough for third place overall. Pan followed with a 9.15 and Ronsberg delivered a 9.0. Alex Holmberg supplied an 8.6 to the team score.

“Sidnee had her best vauls of the season so far,” Swenson said. “She got great height off the table and had clean landings on both vaults. We’re excited about the possibility of Sidnee increasing the difficulty of her vault in the future. Lillyan’s first vault had so much height off the table that she was unable to hold on to the landing. She focused and controlled her second vault really well for another personal-best score.

“Kylie anchored vault for us with her best vault of the season. She wsa really clean in her execution and got great height off the table. With so many great teams in the meet, her third-place finish on vault illustrates how outstanding her vault was.”

Wittl added an eighth-place finish in the uneven bars with a score of 9.35. Pan and Ronsberg added matching 8.5s and Matschi followed with a 7.8.

“Kylie finished with her best routine of the season on bars,” Swenson said. “AFter our team was done, the judge — who had jugdged our team very early in the season — commented on how much stronger all of the girls looked. He said he could clearly see the results of the hard work that the girls have been doing to get stronger and to improve the difficulty and execution of their routines.”

The participating teams are divided into groups of four for this meet — illness forced Eden Prairie to bow out, leaving 15 teams in the meet — and Stillwater was paired in the top group with Roseville, Northfield and Melrose. That created plenty of excitement and tension for the beam, which was Stillwater’s final event. It was the team’s lowest scoring event at 33.525, but solid nonetheless.

“The Lakeville meet is big and we were with the top teams in the last rotation of the meet,” Swenson said. “Other than at the state meet, we don’t have other competitions that are so big and so loud. Competing on beam at the end of a meet like this is additionally challenging. Northfield was on bars, where one of their gymnasts had an amazing routine that scored 9.8, and Roseville was on floor, which is always energizing. Our girls did an outstanding job disregarding the noise and distraction to complete great routines.”

Pan placed ninth in the event with a score of 9.175. Wittl received an 8.6 while Matschi (7.9) and Scottland Adkins (7.85) completed the scoring.

“Kylie had a small miss on one of our combinations, but she finished without a fall,” Swenson said. “The highlight of our beam set was Lillyan’s routine. She has increased her difficulty and she performed every skill with perfect accuracy.”

Despite some minor miscues in the beam and floor, Wittl finished 10th in the all-around with a score of 36.4. Pan wasn’t far behind with an all-around score of 35.775.

“(Wittl) clearly showed that she is among the best all-around gymnasts in the state,” Swenson said.

n Also on Saturday, the Stillwater JV team finished fifth with a score of 124.0. Maddie Steffl finished fifth for the Ponies in the all-around with a score of 31.5 and Natalie Jantschek followed in ninth with a total of 31.3. Steffl posted the highest JV score in the vault at 8.6.


Team Score

1. Roseville 148.9; 2. Northfield 147.38; 3. Melrose 145.9; 4. Park 140.53; 5. Stillwater 138.325; 6. Lakeville North 136.4; 7. Becker 135.925; 8. Prior Lake 135.7; 9. Cambridge-Isanti 135.55; 10. Sauk Rapids 135.175; 11. St. Francis 133.525; 12. Lakeville South 133.4; 13. Brainerd 133.25; 14. Eastview 130.275; 15. White Bear Lake 129.5.

Individual results

Vault (Stillwater 36.4) — 1. Bailey DuPay (Nor) 9.6; 3. Kylie Wittl (St) 9.55; Lillyan Pan (St) 9.15; Sidnee Ronsberg (St) 9.0; Alex Holmberg (St) 8.6; Scottland Adkins (St) 8.45.

Uneven bars (Stillwater 34.15) — 1. Bailey DuPay (Nor) 9.8; 8. Kylie Wittl (St) 9.35; Lillyan Pan (St) 8.5; Sidnee Ronsberg (St) 8.5; Sami Matschi (St) 7.8; Skyler Hult (St) 7.4.

Beam (Stillwater 33.525) — 1. Bailey DuPay (Nor) 9.5; 9. Lillyan Pan (St) 9.175; Kylie Wittl (St) 8.6; Sami Matschi (St) 7.9; Scottland Adkins (St) 7.85; Skyler Hult (St) 6.3.

Floor (Stillwater 34.25) — 1. Jailyn Brinkman (Mel) 9.55; Lillyan Pan (St) 8.95; Kylie Wittl (St) 8.9; Sidnee Ronsberg (St) 8.4; Sami Matschi (St) 8.0; Scottland Adkins (St) 7.7.

All-around — 1. Bailey DuPay (Nor) 38.3; 2. Carly Wagner (Ros) 37.75; 3. Jailyn Brinkman (Mel) 37.725; 10. Kylie Wittl (St) 36.4; 13. Lillyan Pan (St) 35.775.