Bluejackets’ Floor & Beam are State highlights

Seventh-grader Hannah Haight showed composure beyond her years by leading the Bluejackets on the Bars (above) and posting the team’s 2nd-highest Beam score at the State Gymnastics Team finals.

Roseville climbs back to AA Team title: The Cambridge-Isanti gymnasts worked for a season-high 143.0 score at the Feb. 24 State Team competition, which was good for 7th place in the stacked Class AA field. The Roseville girls held off two-time defending champ Northfield by the slimmest of margins to claim the championship.

It is the fifth overall State title for the Raiders after they ruled the Class AA roost with championships won between 2006-2009.

A slow start on the Bars kept the young Bluejackets from overcoming 6th-place Minnetonka. C-I was led by Hannah Haight swinging to an 8.825 and Britta Rud’s 8.75.

Senior Michelle Ziebarth finished her gymnastics career with solid State scores on the Floor (above) and Vault.

But the Bluejackets quickly composed themselves on the next event– the Balance Beam. Going 5-for-5 with no falls, the girls rallied behind Rud’s strong 9.625, Haight scoring a 9.125 and Jessica Christensen sticking an 8.8.

“Going 5-for-5 on beam was the most exciting part of State for me. We had struggled a lot on beam at Sections, but the girls made up for it at State. We were the only team that didn’t take a fall on beam,” said a proud C-I Coach Wendy Rooney.

The Bluejackets followed that with a clean run on the Floor, totaling the team’s meet-best 36.525 for one event. Rud again led the way with a 9.4, with Michelle Ziebarth’s 9.225 and Morgan Urness’ 9.2 helping the score climb.

C-I closed with seniors Ziebarth, Christensen and Terra Ahlstrom competing on the Vault together one last time, with Ziebarth leading the Jackets by sticking a 9.225.

Senior Jessica Christensen was congratulated by Coach Wendy Rooney for sticking her State Beam for an 8.8 score.

“All of our seniors did a great job at State. Michelle hit her best vault of the year, Terra scored almost .4 higher on her vault than she did at Sections, and Jess nailed a wonderful beam routine for us. I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts,” said Coach Rooney. “Morgan Smith and Megan Schultz were alternates and didn’t compete, but still were very important to the team success due to their leadership and support.”

With a mix of those seniors and an up-and-coming group of young flyers, the Bluejackets reached State for the third-straight winter and fifth time over the past six seasons.

“I’m very excited for next season,” projected Coach Rooney. “It’ll be hard to say good-bye to our five wonderful seniors, but our returning girls are already excited about working new skills and increasing their difficulty level for next year. I expect them to come back stronger than where we finished.”

Two Bluejackets– Britta Rud (above) and Hannah Haight– competed in Saturday night’s Class AA Individuals at the U of M. Rud’s top mark was a 9.4 on the Floor, good for 19th place, when she took 23rd in the All-Around with a 36.0 total. Britta also scored a 9.1 on Vault (28th). Haight placed 20th on the Beam with an 8.65 and also competed on the Bars at Individuals.

Class AA Team Finals

Roseville 149.325, Northfield 149.15, St. Cloud Tech 147.475, Park Cottage Grove 147.3, Lakeville North 146.75, Minnetonka 143.025, Cambridge-Isanti 143.0, Stillwater 142.8.

  Bluejacket Scores: Bars- Hannah Haight 8.825, Britta Rud 8.75, Morgan Urness 8.625, Michelle Ziebarth 8.225, Tayla Fletcher 8.15.  Beam- Rud 9.625, Haight 9.125, Jessica Christensen 8.8, Ziebarth 8.7, Urness 8.625.  Floor- Rud 9.4, Ziebarth 9.225, Urness 9.2, Kasey Bruss 8.7, Fletcher 8.6.  Vault- Ziebarth 9.225, Urness 9.1, Rud 8.8, Christensen 8.675, Terra Ahlstrom 8.55

Photos & story by Greg Hunt