Packer gymnasts finish sixth at state meet

Published 6:20 pm Friday, February 26, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS — The Packers finished about right where they were hoping to as they took sixth place at the Class ‘A’ state gymnastics meet at the Sports Pavilion on the University of Minnesota Campus Friday.

Austin had just three routines score below an eight as they finished with their second best score of the season — a 140.825.

“We did better than expected,” said Sela Fadness, an eighth grader who had a 9.55 on the floor and a 9.05 on the balance beam. “We came into this meet not knowing what it was going to be like. I think sixth place is a huge accomplishment for us, it’s not eighth. We’re really happy as a team.”

Austin excelled in its last two events — the floor and the vault. But it got off to a bumpy start on the uneven bars with a 33.575, its lowest score in any event.

“We didn’t get started with a great rotation and the girls handled it very well,” Austin head coach Mark Raymond said. “I’m really happy. It’s a lot to expect for a really young team to step up and perform at this level and they really represented themselves well.”

Austin got solid performances from its upperclassmen — senior Sabrina Snater scored more than a 9.0 in two events and more than an 8.4 in her other two events — and its youngsters — seventh grader Abby Bickler had an 8.95 on the floor exercise and seventh grader Caroline Hackel had an 8.4 on the bars.

Sabrina Snater was pleased with how she finished her last team meet with Austin.

“I’m really honored to be part of this and the gymnastics program at our school is phenomenal. We worked our butts off to get here and we performed like we should. I had an awesome time doing it,” Sabrina Snater said. “I’m going to miss it a lot but the program is going to do awesome.”

As for the seventh graders, they’re already thinking of making another run to state next season.

“I think its amazing that we got to be part of the first team to go to state. Just knowing that we’ve done this once in our first years shows that we can do it again,” Bickler said.

Hackel hopes the team can continue to improve as well.

“It’s cool that we got to compete where college gymnasts compete and use the same equipment that they use,” she said. “We have a pretty young team this year and our skills will move up and we will get better.”

Raymond pointed to the vault as the area where the team can improve the most. With a summer of practice, he feels the Packers can add more flips to their routines and aim for higher scores. He also thinks that Friday’s appearance will help build his team’s confidence in the future.

“In gymnastics it’s about presentation and attitude and with this kind of experience in your back pocket it makes it easier, if we were to make it again next year, for the girls to show up and throw their routines at their best,” he said.

Fadness and Sabrina Snater both will compete in Satuday’s state individual meet which begins at 11 a.m. in the Pavilion.

AUSTIN RESULTS

Floor exercise (36.55 total): Sela Fadness (9.550); Sabrina Snater (9.425); Abby Bickler (8.950); Katy Jorgenson (8.625); Breanna Wehner (8.250)

Balance beam (35.275 total): Sabrina Snater (9.050); Sela Fadness (9.050); Abby Snater (8.800); Abby Bickler (8.375); Ingrid Baudler (7.275)

Uneven bars (33.575 total): Sela Fadness (8.650); Sabrina Snater (8.425); Abby Snater (8.10); Carolyn Hackel (8.400); Abby Bickler (7.700)

Vault (35.425 total): Sela Fadness (9.275); Sabrina Snater (8.800); Carolyn Hackel (8.725); Abby Snater (8.625); Katy Jorgenson (7.900)

TEAM RESULTS

1. Perham 149.900

2. Becker 144.975

3. Martin County 144.375

4. New Prague 143.750

5. Melrose 142.675

6. Austin 140.825

7. Delano 138.525

8. Breck 134.725