Packer gymnasts take third at state meet
Published 5:18 pm Friday, February 24, 2017
MINNEAPOLIS – The Austin gymnastics team made their sixth straight trip to the Minnesota Class A meet one of their best ones as they finished on a high note with their second best score of the season in a meet that usually features the toughest judges of the year.
The Packers tied their best ever finish at state by taking third with a team score of 147.175 at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion Friday.
“We achieved more than what we came here for and I think we grew as a team too,” Austin gymnast Maddie Mullenbach said.
While state is always on the mind of the Packer gymnasts, it wasn’t a guarantee earlier in the season when the team was putting up scores in the 143s. Paige Raymond, who was on all six state qualifying teams, said the Packers came into the state meet with a relaxed, but motivated attitude.
“At the beginning of the season, I don’t think any of us thought this was possible,” Raymond said of the third place finish. “We just wanted to do as well as we could and we wanted to have fun.”
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The Packers started the day on the beam as they avoided any falls and they stayed consistent throughout the day. The Packers scored a 37.175 as a team on the floor, a 36.900 on the vault, a 36.800 on the beam and a 36.300 on the bars.
“I’m really proud of the girls. They were there for each other,” Austin head coach Matt Schmit said. “They worked hard all year long and in the offseason. We had our struggles at the beginning of the year and they continued to work to achieve our goals. We could’ve easily said at the beginning of the season that we weren’t going to get any higher. To get 147 at the state meet is great, in some years that would win it.”
Austin sophomore Samantha Sheldon had competed for the Packers at state in past years, but this season she’s taken on a bigger role as she’s stepped up as an all-arounder.
“I was pretty nervous, but it turned out really good,” Sheldon said.
Austin will also compete in the Class A Minnesota individual state meet 11 a.m. Saturday as Raymond, Mullenbach and Jennifer Boyle are all in the all-around competition.
Detroit Lakes won the state meet for the third straight year with a Class A record team score of 151.675. DL also broke the bars record with a 38.150.
Team scores: 1. Detroit Lakes 151.675; 2. Melrose 149.425; 3. Austin 147.175; 4. Mahtomedi 144.375; 5. Watertown-Mayer/MW 143.250; 6. Becker 142.025; 7. Mankato West 139.025; 8. Worthington 138.700
Vault: Maddie Mullenbach (9.700); Jennifer Boyle (9.450); Sheldon (8.900); Paige Raymond (8.850); Isabel Leuer (8.700)
Bars: Boyle (9.600); Mullenbach (9.575); Paige Raymond (8.825); Samantha Sheldon (8.300); Jordan DeLaMater (7.900)
Beam: Mullenbach (9.650); Boyle (9.350); Paige Raymond (9.000); Sheldon (8.800); Morgan Raymond (8.275)
Floor: Mullenbach (9.400); Paige Raymond (9.325); Sheldon (9.275); Boyle (9.175); Isabel Leuer (9.050)