EAGAN — Even while taking advantage its depth with, the Stillwater gymnastics team posted a score of 139.25 to win Saturday’s Eagan Invitational.
The Ponies (6-1 SEC, 6-1) utilized 22 gymnasts in the meet (including the JV competition) and were still able to hold off Section 4AA rival Mahtomedi (138.5) and third-place Eagan (123.8) in the five-team field.
“We went into the meet knowing that we would face good teams, including Mahtomedi, which is in our section,” Ponies coach Traci Swenson said. “It was so exciting to hit 19 out of 20 routines. All of the girls who we moved up to varsity on different events delivered with fantastic routines. We were very proud of every member of the team for working together, stepping up and delivering outstanding routines.”
Stillwater and Mahtomedi each won two events, with the Ponies posting a score of 37.05 in the vault — which was their final event — to outscore Mahtomedi (36.2) by nearly a full point. The Ponies also held a 35.25-33.7) scoring edge in the bars whlie the Zephyrs turned in the highest scores in the beam (34.75-34.05) and floor (33.85-32-9).
Needing a strong finish to upend the Zephyrs, Stillwater received a first-place finish from Kylie Wittl (9.5) and placed four gymnasts among the top eight. Sidnee Ronsberg (9.35) and Maddie Steffl (9.15) finished third and seventh while Lauren Thole (9.05) also scored in the 9s to finish eighth overall. Even Natalie Jantschek (8.45), Stillwater’s only all-around gymnast in the meet who finished seventh wit a score of 33.8, performed her best vault of the season despite not factoring into the vault scoring.
“Maddie showed her continuing confidence with her tuck tsukahara vault, despite having to deal with a runway that was slightly shorter than what we are used to,” Swenson said. “She didn’t let the need for an adjustment to her run get in the way of doing an outstanding vault. Lauren is also getting more confident on vault. She had improved height and distance from the table and she also earned a new personal best score. Sidnee continued a great day as well, with another high tuck tsukahara vault, and another personal best score. Kylie Wittl finished the day for us with one of her best vaults of the season. She has been working on improving her landings and working on opening up out of her pike position, which she demonstrated.”
Ronsberg (9.35), Jantschek (8.75) and Thole 8.6) finished second, sixth and eighth to lead the Ponies in the uneven bars while Sami Matschi and Lillyan Pan received matching 8.9s to pace Stillwater in the beam. Matschi also provided the team’s high score in the floor exercise at 8.45, which was good enough for seventh place in the event.
ν Stillwater also won the JV competition on Saturday with a score of 121.45, which was 2.5 points in front of Mahtomedi (118.95). Skyler Hult finished first in the uneven bars for the Ponies with a score of 7.6 while teammates Maggie Germundson (8.1), Alex Holmberg (8.0) and Hult (7.95) finished second, third and fourth in the beam. Germundson also placed third in the vault (8.65).
“Placing first in both JV and varsity was an outstanding way to wrap up our string of Saturday invitationals,” said Swenson, who noted the JV team hit 18 of 20 events.
1. Stillwater 139.25; 2. Mahtomedi 138.5; 3. Eagan 134.8; 4. North Branch 134.55; 5. East Ridge 132.35.
Vault (Stillwater 37.05) — 1. Kylie Wittl (St) 9.5; 3. Sidnee Ronsberg (St) 9.35; 7. Maddie Steffl (St) 9.15; 8. Lauren Thole (St) 9.05; Natalie Jantschek (St) 8.45.
Uneven bars (Stillwater 35.25) — 1. Kat Torres (Eag) 9.45; 2. Sidnee Ronsberg (St) 9.35; 6. Natalie Jantschek (St) 8.75; 8. Lauren Thole (St) 8.6; 10. Lillyan Pan (St) 8.55; Sami Matschi (St) 8.25.
Beam (Stillwater 34.05) — 1. Megan Trollen (ER) 9.35; 4, tie, Sami Matschi (St) 8.9 and Lillyan Pan (St) 8.9; Natalie Jantschek (St) 8.35; Scottland Adkins (St) 7.9; Olivia Wyffels (St) 8.65.
Floor (Stillwater 32.9) — 1. Kalli Anderson (Mah) 9.1; 7. Sami Matschi (St) 8.45; 9. Sidnee Ronsberg (St) 8.3; Natalie Jantschek (St) 8.25; Annie Seiler (St) 7.9; Thalia Anderson (St) 7.3.
All-around — 1. Kalli Anderson (Mah) 36.45; 2. Kat Torres (Eag) 36.3; 3. Megan Trollen (ER) 35.45; 7. Natalie Jantschek (St) 33.8.