The Fantastic Floor: Packers set a state record

Published 6:02 pm Friday, February 22, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — When the Packer gymnastics team opened the Class ‘A’ state meet with the lowest balance beam score in the eight team field, they could’ve sulked, complained or lost their focus.

Instead, they regrouped and rebounded by putting up the best floor performance in the history of the Minnesota Class ‘A’ state gymnastics meet at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion Friday.

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Austin, which finished third as a team in the state meet, set a state record in the event with a total of 38.175 points — breaking the previous record of 37.9, which was set by Perham in 2010.

Austin junior Sela Fadness was .05 from tying the individual floor record when she tallied a 9.750 to lead the Packer charge.

“It’s extremely awesome,” Fadness said. “That’s something that can’t be taken away from us. After beam, which we kind of struggled on, we knocked the floor out of the park.”

Austin freshman Rachel Quandt opened with a strong routine of 9.05, but that wasn’t even good enough to crack Austin’s top four. Eighth grader Maddie Mullenbach followed with a 9.525, sophomore Carolyn Hackel posted a 9.325 and sophomore Abby Bickler scored a 9.575.

Mullenbach shook off some early nerves in her first performance at the state meet, but she was firing on all cylinders on the floor.

“That’s all I wanted today. Setting the record was our goal,” Mullenbach said.

The floor performance propelled the Packers to a strong finish in the meet as they tallied a 37.2 on the vault and a 36.025 on the bars after putting up a 34.85 on the beam.

“We had a low start on beam and they did a great job coming back,” Austin head coach Mark Raymond said. “They dug themselves out of a whole that was fairly large. I’m proud of the way the girls did today.”

While the beam performance was frustrating for the team, Fadness said the Packers had no choice but to recover from it.

“We couldn’t really do much about it. It happened and we moved on,” Fadness said. “If we would’ve sat and wallowed in it, we definitely wouldn’t have broken the floor record. But we broke it and it was one of our goals at the beginning of the season.”

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