Top ranked Packer gymnasts top Faribault with big meets on the horizonPublished 9:49pm Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The Packer gymnastics team is on a roll, but it’s not done yet.
Austin, which recently obtained the No. 1 ranking in Class ‘A’ for the first time in school history, beat Faribault 144.90-132.60 in a dual meet in the YMCA Tuesday.
The Packers took third at the state meet last season and they have their eyes on getting back to state this year with the hopes of finishing higher than third.
“We’ve all been working very hard from the youngest girls to the oldest girls,” said Austin junior Abby Bickler, who took second in the all-around Tuesday. “We come in with an attitude of we always have to get better. The number one rank is a motivator for us to keep working, because we know we’re not at our full potential.”
Austin senior Sela Fadness has competed in the team Class ‘A’ state meet three times and she was the Class ‘A’ all-around state champ last season. Fadness is staying humble despite her team’s high ranking.
“Personally I think it’s just a ranking,” Fadness, who took first in the all-around Tuesday, said. “It all comes down to February twenty first and then it’ll really tell who’s number one in the state. Until then it’s just a number. Melrose is second in the state and they beat us in the last meet we went against them. We can’t let it get to our heads.”
The Packers dominated Tuesday’s dual as they took four of the top five spots in the all-around competition. Fadness took first in the vault and bars, Bickler took first in the beam and Fadness and Bickler tied for first in the floor.
Austin is about to begin its stretch of big meets as the state meet is a month away. The Packers will compete in the Class ‘A’ ‘true team’ state meet in Melrose this Saturday, they will travel to Rochester Century for the Big Nine meet Feb. 8 and they will compete in the Section 1A meet in Simley Feb. 15 at 10 a.m.
“We’ve had lot of big meets and nerves. We’ve been keeping practice consistent with meets,” Bickler said. “We’re trying to get a rhythm going.”
Like every other year, Fadness is always pushing herself to her limits so she can put up her biggest scores at the end of the year. On Tuesday she fell on a very difficult beam routine, but that’s part of the process of improving.
“It’s definitely a struggle, but I also can’t expect to nail everything every night,” Fadness said. “I’ve just got to go back to practice and keep working. There’s more I can do and there’s more I’m going to do.”
Fadness is ready to make her last run with the Packers and she’s hoping it has a happy ending.
“I’m looking forward to it, but it’s also nerve racking,” she said. “I have such a passion for this sport and I know what we can do. I’m hoping we come up to the plate at those big meets and hopefully it puts us at the top.”
Vault: Sela Fadness (first, 9.600); Maddie Mullenbach (second, 9.275); Abby Bickler (fourth, 9.150); Carolyn Hackel (fifth, 8.800); Jennifer Boyle (10th, 8.150)
Bars: Fadness (first, 9.400); Bickler (second, 8.850); Hackel (third, 8.775); Mullenbach (fourth, 8.750); Boyle (fifth, 8.700)
Beam: Bickler (first, 9.250); Mullenbach (second, 9.200); Fadness (third, 8.450); Boyle (sixth, 8.200)
Floor: Fadness (first, 9.550); Bickler (first, 9.550); Mullenbach (third, 9.350); Hackel (fifth, 8.750); Boyle (seventh, 8.400)
All around: Fadness (first, 37.00); Bickler (second, 36.800); Mullenbach (third, 36.575); Hackel (fourth, 34.175); Boyle (sixth, 33.450)