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Gymnastics season preview

December 15, 2016 GMT


Head coach: Amy Stites.

Assistant coaches: Christina Jacobs, Nicole Henning, Ashley Robiecki, Eric Kartheiser, John Michael Williams, Kelsi Vomacka


Senior: Serena Shah. Juniors: Megan Kartheiser, Valeria Pott, Madeline Rashid. Sophomores: Samantha Fletcher, Yasmin Nasimova, Aubree Powell, Madison Maricle, Megan Currie. Freshman: Phoebe Glawe-Strom, Aimee Rothschild. Eighth-grader: Evelyn Currie.


Senior: Madeline Woodford. Junior: Greta Dokken. Freshmen: Emily Wahlen, Fanta Sackor. Eighth-graders: Sheyann Bertschinger, Rylee Villalta, Marissa Morara.


Seniors: Lauren Krakowski, Brett Lovgren. Junior: Olivia Baratz. Sophomores: Abigail Deetz, Julia Hintermeister, Kaitlyn Kriener, Sarah McCarty, Laura Schmidt. Freshmen: Megan Anderson, Miya Ohashi Berg, Jessica Pagel, Kathryn Sawallisch. Eighth-grader: Molly Soderberg. Seventh-grader: Mia Tiede.

Notes: Century continued to lead the way in Rochester last year, setting a program record with a score of 143.35 in the Section 1AA meet, where the Panthers finished second behind Owatonna, which also claimed the Big 9 Conference crown. The graduation of Natalia Jacobson (reigning state champion on uneven bars) and Andy Jacobs (All-State Elite Team) leaves room for up-and-comers Maddie Rashid and Aimee Rothschild to make their marks. John Marshall senior Maddie Woodford is ready to bounce back and contend for a state berth after an injury cut her season short last year. Look for Greta Dokken to be in the mix for a state berth as well. For Mayo, expect strong performances from junior Olivia Baratz, who is healthy again after an injury-plagued sophomore season. Mayo finished fifth in the Section 1AA meet last year.

Coach Stites: “Maddie Rashid had a strong finish at sections last year for Century but had an uncharacteristic fall from beam which took her out of the running for qualifying for state. She is back this year, after putting in extensive training this summer and fall with a renewed vision, goal, and confidence. Her positive attitude and determination will be inspirational for her teammates. For JM, Greta Dokken and Maddie Woodford worked out through the summer and fall, improving their skills and confidence and also reviving their drive and determination. Both girls are looking stronger than I have ever seen them. Mayo gained some local club gymnasts this season, and this team is still young and developing. In addition to Olivia Baratz, keep an eye on Julia Hintermeister and Megan Anderson. We have some of the best gymnasts in the state right here in southeast Minnesota. It should be an exciting season!”

Rochester schedule

(Home meets at Gage East Elementary)

Dec. 8 — 6:30 p.m. at Northfield

Dec. 16 — 6:30 p.m. vs. Owatonna

Dec. 20 — 6:30 p.m. vs. Austin

Jan. 7 — 11 a.m. at Faribault Invitational

Jan 10 — 6:30 p.m. vs. Red Wing

Jan. 13 — 6 p.m. at Faribault

Jan. 20 — 6 p.m. vs. Mankato East and Mankato West

Jan. 28 — 1 p.m. Rochester Invitational

Feb. 3 — 6:30 p.m. vs. Winona

Feb. 11 — 3 p.m. Big 9 Conference at Red wing

Feb. 17 — 6:30 p.m. Section meet at Owatonna


Head coach: Charro Coleman

Assistant coaches: Bre Yennie-Litch, Nick Taylor, Anna Alzomora


Seniors: Autumn Brandau, Hannah Coleman, Emma Jensen, Jill Schuster, Raquel Serrano, Kassandra McCarty, Annika Carlson. Juniors: Emma Weatherly, Paige Fode, Keirsten Olson. Sophomores: Gabrina Grube, Makayla McCarty, Lauren Jensen, Abby Stringer, Caroline Krook. Freshmen: Kiya Jahraus, Annika Johnson. Eighth-graders: Leah Yokiel, Taylor Dean, Emma Jonson, Morgan Bausman, Kiya Liesen. Seventh-graders: Ashanti Rice, Brooke Kovash, Olivia Yennie.

Notes: With 12 returning letter-winners, including seven seniors, Byron will have one of the most experienced teams in the state. Five members of the squad have previously claimed All-Conference honors, and three were honorable mention All-State last year. Hannah Coleman and Emma Weatherly qualified for state in 2015. Last year the Bears set six school records and finished as Southeast Conference runners-up to Pine Island, then finished third in the Section 1A tournament behind perennial powers Austin and Pine Island.

Coach Coleman: “This team is looking to challenge Pine Island for the conference title but will definitely have their work cut out for them. This is a very veteran team with seven seniors, and I think that they, along with their teammates, can accomplish anything they decide to.”


Head coach: Laura Strandell

Assistant coach: Caitlin Jirele


Juniors: Halie Abbott, Dani Lanin. Sophomores: Jenna Jensen, Cambryn Rubin, Gabriela Staub. Freshman: Grace Worden. Eighth-graders: Olivia Cogswell, Emily DeVetter, Nicki Drew, Chloe Jensen, Sara Miller, Meaghan Rose, Shae Sands. Seventh-graders: Regan Adams, Irelynn Bowman, Danitza Castellano, Emily Dahanaike, Sequoia Dominie, Julia Etbauer, Paige Funke, Shelbie Heinlein, Morgan Hitterdal, Josie Ibach, Cassidy Thompson, Aleya White, Winni Zheng.

Notes: Last year’s K-M/Triton squad, in its second year as a co-op, included just 11 gymnasts. This year its ranks have swelled to 26, including returning letter-winners Jenna Jensen, Shae Sands and Halie Abbott, as well as Cambryn Rubin, who earned all-conference honors last year and was All-State honorable mention on the uneven bars. Among the newcomers to watch are seventh-grader Julia Etbauer and freshman Grace Worden. In the program’s first two years, K-M/Triton has notched one dual meet win.

Coach Strandell: “We are thrilled with the number of wonderful young ladies who have

decided to participate in gymnastics this year. We compete in a very tough section and conference, but the girls were improving almost every meet, and it showed through our continuous score improvement.”


Head coach: Chris Templeton

Assistant coaches: Melissa Thomforde, Chelsie Bertsinger


Seniors: Brittney Arndt, Brook Schaefer. Juniors: Brynn Olson, Clarin Gruner, Isabella Wiggins, Tessa Spahl. Sophomores: Bailey Kuball. Freshman: Cora Heiden. Eighth-graders: Brynn Burkhalter, Eliza Goplen, Jaci Newman, Sawyer Gorman. Seventh-grader: Isabella Nisbit.

Notes: Perennial power Pine Island looks to defend its Southeastern Conference title with eight returning letter-winners from last year’s squad that went 12-0 in dual meets and finished second in the Section 1A tournament behind Austin. Eighth-grader Sawyer Gorman qualified for state last year, placing sixth in floor exercise, seventh on balance beam, 10th in vault and 10th in the all-around. Also returning are all-conference honorees Jaci Newman and Brynn Olson.

Coach Templeton: “In the conference, I look for Byron to be very strong again this year. Both of our meets last season were very close, within a point of each other. The girls spent a lot of time in the gym this summer upgrading their skills sets. Now we have to put these skills into routines and get comfortable with them.”


Head coach: Tina McGuire

Assistant coach: Jessilynn Knutson


Seniors: Abby Lampert, Clair Shepardson, Paige Weymiller. Sophomore: Jenna Rupert. Freshmen: Alissa Peterson, Lilly Radecki. Eighth-graders: Alana Anderson, Emmarie Byom. Seventh-graders: Ainsley Byom, Elizabeth Benfield, Kennette Duffy, Kiara Keip, Kira Boyer, Meghan Steffes, Olivia Baker, Riley Fuchsel

Notes: La Crescent should have solid leadership this year, with three seniors who are all returning letter-winners. Two years ago the Lancers finished seventh in the Section 1A meet, and last year they moved up to fifth with a team score of 127.25.

Coach McGuire: “Abby Lampert has twice missed state by one spot in the vault, so we hope to push her up and onward to state this year. Clair Shepardson is an all-around athlete who has worked incredibly hard in the offseason to further her skill level. Paige Weymiler is talented on the uneven bars, and we are working on her difficulty level for that event. We had no state qualifiers last year, but we hope to change that this season!”


Head coach: Kaysie Manion

Assistant coach: Steven Wesenberg


Junior: Elleigh Hansen. Sophomore: Kailyn Manthei. Freshmen: McKenna Wheeler, Gabbie Schei, Kim Greiner, Michelle Devilliers. Eighth-graders: Zoe Berg, Abigail Manthei, Destyni Manthey, Emilee Otto, Alexis Pitzer, Caitlyn Stafford, Grace Sveen, Vanessa Wilson. Seventh-graders: Morgan Cosgrove, Kassi Faulhaber, Ava Faupel, Kenzie Gusa, Maggie Petersen.

Notes: The Tigers graduated their top two scorers from a team that battled injuries all year and finished seventh in the Section 1A meet, advancing no gymnasts to the state meet and compiling a team score of 117.95 that was well below their season high. Eighth-graders Emilee Otto and Mckenna Wheeler are returning letter-winners, and freshman Kim Greiner from Chatfield has club experience and will be a newcomer to watch. Other gymnasts who could contribute include Gabbie Schei, Destyni Manthey, Grace Sveen and Vanessa Wilson.

Coach Manion: “Ten of our 19 gymnasts are new to the team. This is definitely a rebuilding year for us as we lost four seniors last year and one of our juniors. This year we have a co-op with Chatfield and have one gymnast from there, Kim Greiner. She and Emilee Otto will anchor our young team. Both girls have the drive and dedication to make huge strides this year! We have a group of seasoned 8th and 9th graders who will help round out our varsity team.”


Head coach: Jess Wiese

Assistant coach: Helen Olson


Juniors: Kerrigan Scanlan, Rachel Welsh. Sophomores: Kourtney Olson, Rebecca Meyer, Alissa Johnson. Eighth-graders: Allyson Wolter, Emma Ranzenberger, Jadah Zehnder, Chilynn Booker, Jenniver Bauer, Madeline Wieser. Seventh-graders: Bri Johnson, Emma Ideker.

Notes: First-year head coach Jess Wiese inherits a team that finished seventh in the Section 1A meet last year with a score of 120.125. Team captains Kourtney Olson and Kerrigan Scanlan will lead a very young team that includes eight middle-schoolers.


Head coach: Megan Latch


Seniors: Kayla Nepstad, Josie Lappegaard, Mackenzie Irwin, Amanda DeWall, Megan Bowen, Allison Byrne. Juniors: Emily Swenson, Sydney Poole, Paige Patterson, Jaycee Gilbertson. Freshmen: Allison Urban, Chloe McGrath. Hannah Jackson, Carolyn Hanson, Angel Griggs, Breck Bergin.

Notes: Red Wing placed fifth in the Section 1A meet last year, led by Mackenzie Hughes, who won the vault and finished second in the all-around. Hughes finished 17th in the all-around at the state meet. Without Hughes this year, Red Wing will bring a lot of experience to the gym this year, including six seniors and four juniors.

Coach Latch: “We are very fortunate and excited to be practicing in a new facility this year. TNT Gymnastics in Red Wing built a brand-new facility which provides us the opportunity to host home meets for the first time in several years. It allows us to practice skills we were unable to in the past in a safe and fun way. We are also to accommodate our large number of gymnasts in the new space. This season we look to continue to grow as a team and better ourselves not only in gymnastics ability but as a team. Our skill level as a whole is improving and we look for great things to come this season.”


The PB received no response to requests for information from the Austin coaching staff.