Considering the rash of injuries the Cambridge-Isanti gymnasts endured this season, placing somewhere in the top three of last Friday’s Section 7AA Finals would have been a noble accomplishment. But the resilient Bluejackets kept working, and they wound up defending their section championship in the home gym and returning to this weekend’s State meet.
The C-I girls totaled 136.9 points, good enough to clip runner-up Forest Lake by less than a point. This is the Bluejackets’ fourth-straight trip to State and 23rd overall dating back to 1982.
Sophomore Kaeli Kortan led Cambridge-Isanti by placing 2nd in the All-around with 35.5 points which included taking 1st on the Beam (9.125) and Bars (8.875). Tori Nelson was 4th in All-around scoring with 34.175 points, placing 3rd on the Vault with her first tsuk stick (9.025) and also going 3rd on the Beam (8.85).Those two will represent the Bluejackets in Saturday night’s individual portion of the State meet.
Senior Abby Schlenker came through with an 8.65 on the Beam to help her team overcome the Rangers. More Bluejacket highlights at sections were Nelson on the Floor (8.625), and Hannah Haight on the Beam (8.675) and Bars (8.475).
Forest Lake’s Jessica Dhaene was the 7AA All-Around champion, taking 1st on the Vault. Mackenzie Walsh of St. Francis placed 1st on the Floor.
Section 7AA Gymnastics
Cambridge-Isanti 136.9, Forest Lake 135.975, St. Francis 134. 675, Centennial 131.25, Blaine 126.1, Coon Rapids 117.2, Anoka 99.6, Andover 88.25.
Bluejacket scores: Vault– Nelson 9.025, Kortan 8.975, Durant 8.5, Haight 8.45, Schlenker 8.15. Bars– Kortan 8.875, Haight 8.475, Durant 7.875, Schlenker 7.7, Nelson 7.675. Beam– Kortan 9.125, Nelson 8.85, Haight 8.675, Schlenker 8.65, Morgan 8.575. Floor– Nelson 8.625, Kortan 8.525, Acre-Kendall 8.3, Durant 8.275, Schlenker 7.85. All-around: Kortan 35.5 (2nd), Nelson 34.175 (4th).
Class AA Gymnastics outlook
2012 champion Roseville is back to defend its Class AA Team title. Runner-up Northfield, St Cloud Tech (3rd in 2012) and Park of Cottage Grove (4th in 2012) are more strong programs returning to the team competition.
The Class AA Team competition will be 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22 at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion. On Saturday night will be the Class AA Individual and All-around finals at the pavilion. Northfield’s Bailey DuPay is the only returning medalist in the All-around competition, finishing 3rd in 2012.