This year’s Section 1A gymnastics championship held in Kasson-Mantorville had a familiar feel to it — the top of the leaderboard was littered with Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa gymnasts.
Although PIZM only had two first-place results in individual events, the Wildcats had nine gymnasts finish in the top-three spots in the five competitions on Saturday, March 20. As a team, PIZM’s dominance was even more impressive as it finished more than six points clear of second-place Winona. For comparison, the gap between the Winhawks and fourth-placed Austin was the same point total.
Leading the charge for PIZM was the duo of Sawyer Gorman and Jaci Newman. The pair combined for seven top-three placements.
Gorman finished first all-around with 37.125 points and claimed the top spot on vault with 9.525 points. She also took second on bars and beam with scores of 9.1 and 9.4, respectively. Newman placed second all-around with a score of 36.7, and took third place on vault and bars with 9.425 and 8.875 points, respectively.
Aside from Gorman and Newman, PIZM will be sending four other gymnasts to the Class A State Gymnastics Meet. Brynn Burkhalter will compete in floor and vault after taking second place (9.575) and fifth (9.2), respectively. McKenzie Cordes will also compete in two events — beam and bars — after taking third place (9.175) and fourth (8.650).
Izzy Nisbit and Alivia Berg will be competing in beam and floor after taking sixth place (8.925) and fifth (9.2), respectively.
In addition to the six gymnasts competing individually, PIZM will be part of the team component to the state meet as well. Gorman and Newman will compete in all four events and all-around at state.
The Class A State Gymnastics Meet took place Friday, March 26 at Champlin Park High School. The meet was broken up into two sessions with half of the sections competing in the morning and the other half in the evening. PIZM competed during the second session which started at 6 p.m.
Red Wing takes seventh place
Before PIZM hit the gym, Red Wing competed in the first of the three-session Section 1A meet. While the Wingers easily came out ahead of the competition in its own session, the remaining six teams finished with higher team scores. Red Wing completed its day with a team score of 122.1 — good enough for seventh place.
Individually, the Wingers were led by Chloe Fox and Akacia Ingram — both of whom logged two top-20 finishes. Fox had the top overall placement of any Winger, with a 13th-place showing all-round (31.325). She also took 15th on vault (8.75). Ingram finished 18th all-around and 19th on bars with scores of 30.15 and 7.675, respectively.
“None of the Wingers qualified for state but we had a very nice meet to end our season,” Red Wing head gymnastics coach Lisa Hanson said. “We were solid in our first two rotations with Chloe Fox adding and making a required release move on bars and Akacia Ingram scoring a personal best. Beam was our nemesis again with too many falls though both Jaysa Dille and Sylvia Marty stuck theirs. We finished with very nice floor routines and mostly happy, satisfied gymnasts.”
Red Wing’s gymnastics season ends with a 1-9 team record.