Jacket Gymnasts win 7AA nail-biter to reach State

The Cambridge-Isanti gymnasts reached familiar territory by winning the Section 7AA title Feb. 17, but they did so in a non-traditional manner– needing a clutch effort on their final routine of the evening. This will be the 22nd State berth for the Bluejacket gymnasts since their first trip in 1982.

Britta Rud clinched a State berth for her team and a 3rd place in the All-Around Individuals with a clutch vault at sections.

The rival St. Francis Saints, who the Bluejackets defeated in a dual meet by a full two points just three weeks ago, held the early edge at the finals they hosted by opening the meet with a strong performance on the Vault. The C-I girls worked their way back despite a rough night on the Beam. In the end, the State berth came down to the last Jacket Vaulter.

“Stand up a good one, the Jackets win. Anything else, the trophy goes to the Saints,” noted C-I Coach Wendy Rooney. “Final vaulter Britta Rud needed a 9.1 on her tuck tsuk to send the Jackets to State, and the talented freshman absolutely nailed the landing for a career-best 9.275 to seal the deal.”

Rud’s mark, combined with Michelle Ziebarth scoring a 9.075 and Jessica Christensen an 8.75 on the Vault, allowed the Jackets to slip past the Saints by 25/100s of a point. Rud also was 1st on the Floor with a sterling 9.55 and 3rd in the All-Around at 35.625. Joining her at State Individuals will be seventh-grader Hannah Haight who won the Beam with a 9.175 and was 2nd on the Bars at 9.075.

Hannah Haight reached State Individuals for the Jackets with a 1st on the Beam and 2nd on the Bars at the Feb. 17 Section 7AA Finals.

• A “State Sendoff” for the Bluejackets will be 10:05 a.m. at the CIHS Gym on Friday morning, Feb. 24. The Class AA Team will be 6 p.m. Friday night at the U of M Sports Pavilion, followed by AA Individuals 6 p.m. Saturday night.


Class AA State Outlook

Northfield is the two-time defending champ in Class AA, and the Raiders scored a whopping 150.1 to win Section 1AA. Meaghan Howell of Northfield is the returning individual champ on the Bars. Last year’s runner-up, Roseville, won its section with a 147.2 score, and 2012 3rd-place Park of Cottage Grove reached State with a 144.45 total at the Section 3AA finals. St. Cloud Tech out of Section 8AA is also a contender after scoring a 147.4 last weekend.

In Class A, Mississippi 8 champ Big Lake earned a State berth by winning the Section 7A title with a 145.5.