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Prep gymnastics: Mottinger places 6th on vault at state

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MINNEAPOLIS — Willmar Cardinal freshman Haley Mottinger medaled at the Class A Gymnastics championships by placing sixth on the vault.

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The Section 6A winner on the vault table averaged 9.45 from the four judges on both her first and second attempts.

“It was a very exciting moment to hit her Tsukahara in the piked position,” commented Willmar head coach Larry Selchow. “She scored high because of the height she reached. It was just an amazing performance.”

Sophomore Hannah Wendel, also a Central Lakes Conference and 6A competitor, won the event with a score of 9.78. All-around champion Sela Fadness of Austin was second at 9.70.

Willmar senior Cassandra Johnson competed in both floor and vault. She placed 17th on Floor with a score of 9.25 and 30th on vault scoring 8.85. She also competed on vault at state last year.

It was the final meet for Johnson, who joined the varsity only last year but has enjoyed many successes.

 This was also the final meet for Selchow, who decided to step down after 18 years as the program’s head coach. He bows out with one of his young gymnasts on the podium.

Melrose, the Section 6A champions who won this meet a year ago, ended up scoring 147.9 in Friday’s team competition, not enough to catch New Prague which blazed to a 149.6.

Alexandria’s Briquelle Bowden won beam (9.61) and placed second all-around (37.95) behind Fadness (38.575).

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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