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.
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.
• 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.