ST. PAUL, Minn. – It was déjà vu all over again for the Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa gymnasts Friday as the team repeated its sixth-place finish from a year ago in the 2020 Class A state gymnastics tournament.
Competing at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul, PIZM scored a 35.5 in the vault, a 33.025 on the uneven bars, a 35.85 on the balance beam and a 36.7 on the floor exercise for a total of 141.075 points.
That was off slightly from last season’s team final score of 143.125 and a season best – and section 1A winning – total of 144.95.
“It just wasn’t our day today,” said PIZM head coach Chris Templeton. “We started out on our two strongest events and they didn’t go quite as well as we’d liked to have had them go. But what I really liked about this team today was they didn’t let it get them down. They didn’t let it affect them on the next event. We went to bars and we had to have a really good bars set and then we went over to beam and we had four stuck routines over on beam.
“Just the grit,” Templeton added. “The grit and the character the girls showed after not having the start that they wanted is something that I’ll take away from this team. They had a nice bounce back after the first two events.”
Favored Big Lake won the Class A state title with 146.825 points. Perham (144.925) was second, followed by Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka (144.365) in third, Mankato West (144.150) in fourth, Worthington (141.300) in fifth, PIZM, Willmar (139.900) in seventh and St. Paul Highland Park (131.325) in eighth.
It was the third straight top-six finish for the PIZM team.
Cora Heiden – the team’s only senior – stuck the last beam event of her career.
“That’s something you’re going to remember for a long time,” said Templeton.
PIZM junior Sawyer Gorman will compete Saturday in the individual gymnastics championships.
This was the third-straight season PIZM qualified for the state meet. The team took sixth last year. Pine Island, as a single school, qualified six times from 1988-2011.