MINNEAPOLIS — The state meet was no time to get conservative for Stillwater gymnast Kylie Wittl, who placed 20th in the all-around at Saturday’s Class AA state meet at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion.
The senior unveiled a new vault to receive her top score of the competition in that event while posting an all-around total of 36.45 in her third and final state appearance.
Wittl’s 9.4 in the vault also placed her 20th in the event.
“She was working on a more difficult vault than she had been competing all season — a layout tsukahara,” Ponies coach Traci Swenson said. “She did the more difficult vault twice. Her first vault was clean and open, but she had some steps on the landing. Her second vault was not quite as open, but her landing was better.”
“It was exciting to see her go for the more difficult vault in her last meet and do it successfully. We were really proud that she was so eager to try a new and challenging skill in her last high school meet, and she did it well.”
Stillwater teammate Lillyan Pan followed in 27th place after receiving a top score of 9.2 in the vault in what was the junior’s state debut.
“Lillyan ended her season with one of her best vaults of the season,” Swenson said. “She was high off the table and had a clean landing. She has made a great adjustment to the high school season with a solid performance at the state meet.”
Wittl followed with a 9.15 in the uneven bars, which was good enough for 17th place overall.
“Kylie went on to have a good bars routine,” Swenson said. “She was a bit short on her handstand before her release move, which determines her bonus — however, the rest of the routine was clean and connected.”
The beam was the third event for Wittl and the last of which she had qualified for individual honors. She took a fall on her dance combination and finished 25th with a score of 8.65.
Competing in the floor exercise to complete her all-around showing, Wittl turned in a score of 9.25.
“She finished her high school career with a dynamic routine on floor,” Swenson said. “I wanted her to just enjoy the routine and celebrate the experience, and I think she did that.”
Wittl did end her career as the No. 3 gymnast on Stillwater’s all-time list in the all-around — trailing only 2008 graduate Alyssa Fedor and 2006 graduate and former individual state champion Caroline Hilpisch.
“Kylie has always been an exciting performer on floor and it was fitting for her to finish her high school career with her signature floor routine and final pose,” Swenson said. “She had an outstanding career for our team in the past three years.
“We are so proud of both girls at the meet, as well as our whole team who attended the meet to support Lillyan and Kylie,” Swenson said. “We are looking forward to our banquet next Sunday, and the girls are already working on new skills in preparation for next season.”
l The Suburban East Conference was well represented in Friday’s state team competition with Roseville defending its state championship and winning for the sixth time in the past eight years with a score of 149.7, which wa less than four-tenths of a point in front of runner-up Northfield (149.325). Conference colleague Park placed fourth with a score of 146.05. Mahtomedi, which clipped the Ponies by just .175 at the Section 4AA meet a week earlier, placed sixth at state with a score of 141.125.
Vault — 1. Kaylee Jondahl (Elk River/Zimmerman) 9.825; 20. Kylie Wittl (St) 9.4; 27. Lillyan Pan (St) 9.2.
Uneven bars — 1. Carly Wagner (Roseville) 9.8; 17. Kylie Wittl (St) 9.15.
Beam — 1. Bailey DuPay (Northfield) 9.55; 25. Kylie Wittl (St) 8.65.
Floor — 1. Bailey DuPay (Northfield) 9.9; Kylie Wittl (St) 9.25.
All-around — 1. Bailey DuPay (Northfield) 38.8625; 20. Kylie Wittl (St) 36.45.
Contact Stuart Groskreutz at email@example.com