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Raiders make it nine straight section gymnastics titles
It’s more than halfway through February, which means that the Roseville Area High School gymnastics team is preparing for the state meet. That’s just what happens at this time of the year.
The Raiders go after their third consecutive and seventh overall state championship on Friday at the Class AA meet at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion.
Roseville secured its ninth consecutive state-meet berth by winning the Section 4AA team championship on Saturday at White Bear Lake Area High School. The Raiders clinched the section crown with a team score of 148.625, which was almost eight points higher than runner-up Mahtomedi’s 140.7.
Based on the state rankings and the winning section scores, the state-meet will be a three-team race with a possible dark horse. Section 1AA champion Northfield has been ranked No. 1 in the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association rankings most of the season and posted the highest section-meet score last week with a 149.5.
Roseville, the two-time defending state champion, was ranked second most of the season.
St. Cloud Tech won the Section 8AA title with a score of 149.025 and finished the season ranked third. The Tigers have taken second or third at state in six of the past eight state meets.
Wayzata, the Section 6AA champion, also reached the 148-point plateau with a 148.275 at sections. The Trojans were fourth in the final rankings and could have an outside shot on Friday.
Roseville and Northfield have developed a friendly rivalry over the past four years at the state meet. Northfield finished second to Roseville the past two state meets while Roseville was runner-up to Northfield in 2010 and 2011.
St. Cloud Tech ended up second to Roseville during the Raiders’ run of four straight state titles from 2006-09. The Tigers were third at state in 2012 and 2013.
Roseville and St. Cloud Tech hold the longest current streak of consecutive Class AA state appearances at nine. Of the eight teams in this year’s meet, the Raiders are third in total appearances with a dozen. Only Cambridge-Isanti’s 24 and Lakeville North’s 18 rank higher than Roseville.
Individual state meet
Day two of the state meet, which is Saturday at the Sports Pavilion, features the individual competition. Roseville will be well-represented.
Of the 20 individual state berths available at the Section 4AA meet, the Raiders claimed 13.
Junior Isis Muller claimed a pair of individual section titles. She won the bars with a score of 9.725 and tied for first in the all-around with Cretin-Derham Hall’s Becca Wilcox with a score of 37.75. Muller also qualified for state on the beam and floor exercise by finishing second in both events at the section meet.
Joining Muller at state are teammates Jessica Strecker, Carly Wagner and Kaylee Strecker. Jessica Strecker, a freshman, won the section beam title, was second on the vault and finished third in the all-around standings.
Wagner, a senior, is the defending Class AA bars champion and will get a chance to defend that title. She qualified for state on the bars by finishing second in the event at sections. In addition, she took third on the beam and vault and finished fourth in the all-around.
Junior Kaylee Strecker made state in a pair of events. She finished fourth on the bars and the floor exercise.
Cretin’s Wilcox added section titles by winning the floor exercise and the vault and also qualified for state with a third-place finish on the bars and a fourth-place performance on the beam. Two other state berths went to White Bear Lake’s Lindsay Hall, who took third on the floor exercise, and Mahtomedi’s Morgan Long, who was fourth on the vault.
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.
Class AA state gymnastics meet Team portion, Friday, 6 p.m. at University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion
Participating teams Section-meet score
Section 4AA gymnastics meet