Gymnastics: Top-ranked Raiders hand Stillwater first SEC loss

Sophomore Natalie Jantschek competes in the uneven bars for the Ponies during Thursday’s Suburban East Conference dual meet against Roseville at Stillwater Area High School. (Gazette staff photo by Stuart Groskreutz)
Sophomore Natalie Jantschek competes in the uneven bars for the Ponies during Thursday’s Suburban East Conference dual meet against Roseville at Stillwater Area High School. (Gazette staff photo by Stuart Groskreutz)

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — State heavyweight Roseville handed Stillwater its first dual meet setback of the season on Thursday while posting a 146.1-136.325 Suburban East Conference victory at Stillwater Area High School.

It was the lowest score for the Ponies (6-1 SEC, 6-1) in more than a month, but even matching their best score of the season would have left them shy against the Raiders (7-0, 7-0), who have won state titles in five of the previous seven years.

“Even though we were not able to outscore Roseville, we were happy with so many of the girls’ routines,” Ponies coach Traci Swenson said. “The scoring was somewhat conservative all night, but the girls stayed focused and showed many improvements.”

Roseville produced three all-around gymnasts who scored 36.8 or higher, led by Carly Wagner with a score of 37.075. Kylie Wittl was Stillwater’s top scorer in three of four events and placed fourth with an all-around score of 36.15.

The Ponies outscored Roseville 35.925-35.65 in the vault, but the Raiders exceded their Stillwater’s team scores by at least two points in the remaining three events.

Wittl posted the second highest score in the vault at 9.275 and Lillyan Pan was not far behind at 9.15.

“We were really happy to have landed vaults from all five of our vaulters,” Swenson said. “They have been working to improve landings, which showed in the meet. Although the 35.925 was not our best vault total of the season, the performance from the team really was, and it was satisfying to beat Roseville on vault.”

Wittl also finished third individually in the floor (9.275) and uneven bars (9.05) while Sami Matschi led the Ponies in the beam with a score of 8.85.

Wittl was the only Pony to receive a score higher than 8.0 in the uneven bars, which was the team’s lowest scoring total of the night.

“Natalie Jantschek returned to the varsity roster on bars and she has been struggling with connecting her dismount, while also working on adding a release move,” Swenson said. “She was able to improve on both of those things, smoothly connecting her release move as well as her dismount to the rest of her routine. Lauren (Thole), Lillyan and Sidnee (Ronsberg) had some struggles on the baars that cost us a bit, but then Kylie had a great, connected and clean routine to finish the set. She was a bit closer to the bar on our dismount than is normal, but she finished for a solid landing.”

Matschi returned from a hip injury and illness last week to deliver Stillwater’s top score on the beam.

“Lauren and Scottland Adkins started our beam team with stuck routines,” Swenson said. “It is so important to have the first couple of gymnasts stick their routines to set the pace for the team. Sami and Kylie finished our beam set with stuck routines.”

Pan did a nice job to minimize an error in the floor exercise and receive a score of 8.6. Wittl turned in a 9.275 and Matschi followed for the Ponies with an 8.625.

“Kylie’s routine is so entertaining and consistent that it is great for the team and the crowd to watch,” Swenson said.

n The Raiders also prevailed in the JV competition on Thursday while posting a 127.25-123.95 victory over Stillwater. Natalie Jantschek led the Ponies in the vault (8.2) and floor (8.3) while Sami Matschi (8.0) and Olivia Wyffels (7.6) posted the team’s top score in the bars and beam. Maggie Germundson (8.2) matched Jantschek’s top score for the Ponies in the vault.


Roseville 146.1, Stillwater 136.325

Vault (Stillwater 35.925) — 2. Kylie Wittl 9.275; 4. Lillyan Pan 9.15; 5. Sidnee Ronsberg 8.875; Lauren Thole 8.625; Maddie Steffl 8.5.

Uneven bars (Stillwater 32.2) — 4. Kylie Wittl 9.05; Natalie Jantschek 7.975; Lauren Thole 7.75; Sidnee Ronsberg 7.425; Lillyan Pan 7.4.

Beam (Stillwater 33.475) — 4. Sami Matschi 8.85; Kylie Wittl 8.55; Lillyan Pan 8.175; Scottland Adkins 7.9; Lauren Thole 7.4.

Floor (Stillwater 34.725) — 3. Kylie Wittl 9.275; Sami Matschi 8.625; Lillyan Pan 8.6; Sidnee Ronsberg 8.225; Thalia Anderson 7.9.

All-around — 1. Carly Wagner (Ros) 37.075; 2. Isis Muller (Ros) 36.8; 3. Emily VanKrevelen (Ros) 36.675; 4. Kylie Wittl (St) 36.15; 5. Lillyan Pan (St) 33.325.