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State gymnastics: NLS takes fifth; Benson gymnast wins beam title

The New London-Spicer Wildcats pass some higher-ranked teams at state while Libby McGeary takes first on the balance beam Friday in Champlin.

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The New London-Spicer gymnastics team prepares before the state Class A team championships Friday, March 26, 2021, at Champlin Park High School. The Wildcats finished fifth. Photo by Sherri LaRose-Chiglo

CHAMPLIN — It was a good day for the New London-Spicer gymnastics team and an exceptional one for Benson/Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg’s Libby McGeary.

New London-Spicer finished fifth in team competition with a score of 142.400. Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka won the Class A title at Champlin Park High School with a score of 146.350.

McGeary brought home the West Central Tribune area’s lone state championship. The sophomore from Benson won the balance beam with a score of 9.600. She ended up 13th in all-around scoring with a 36.500.

“Honestly, it was nearly flawless,” Benson/KMS head coach Kathy Ahrndt said. “I’ve watched the video of her performance three times and there wasn’t even a wobble.”

McGeary is the first Benson/KMS gymnast to win a state title, Ahrndt said.

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For NLS, the team score was the second best of the season. Head coach Cindy Jacobson was especially pleased because the Wildcats moved past a couple of teams that were ranked higher than they were.

“The girls worked super hard this week, like any team would,” Jacobson said. “Taking second in our (four-team pod) was really nice.

“And beating teams that we were ranked behind (Big Lake and Worthington) was also really nice.”

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New London-Spicer's Ciera Anderson competes in the floor exercise Friday, March 26, 2021 at the state gymnastics meet in Champlin.

NLS started on the balance beam and scored a 35.250.

“We did pretty well,” Jacobson said. “We stuck four of our five routines.
“One fall isn’t bad in a big meet like this.”

It was the first time NLS had qualified for state since 2007. It made for a memorable season that Jacobson said impressed her because of her team’s work ethic.

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“I think there were three times when I told them to take a day off and they said they didn’t want one,” she said. “The perseverance and determination with the girls this year was unbelievable.”

Ciera Andeson was NLS’ top scorer. She took seventh in the all-around, sixth on the bars and fourth on the beam.

The Wildcats’ Ashlyn Olson had a ninth-place finish in the floor exercise.

Willmar’s Abigail Coquyt finished 10th on the bars and 12th on the floor. The Cardinals’ Lyndi Koosman was 18th in the all-around.

An old soul with NLS' Ashlyn Olson

State Class A
team finals

Team scoring

(1) Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 146.350 … (2) Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 146.025 … (3) Mankato West 143.750 … (4) Perham/New York Mills 143.675 … (5) New London-Spicer 142.400 … (6) Worthington 142.075 … (7) Big Lake 141.925 … (8) St. Paul Highland Park 131.750.

How New London-Spicer fared:

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VAULT — Lili Sampson 9:400 … Kamryn Quenemoen 9.400 … Ciera Anderson 9.275 … Abby Knudsen 9.200 … Ashlyn Olson 8.625. Total: 37.275.
BARS — Anderson 9.000 … Quenemoen 8.175 … A. Knudsen 8.150 … Kailyn Prehim 8.000 … Sampson 7.475. Total: 33.325.
BEAM — Anderson 9.275 … Quenemoen 8.825 … Olson 8.225 … Preheim 8.525 … Taylor Knudsen 8.200. Total: 35.250.
FLOOR — Olson 9.300 … Anderson 9.100 … Quenemoen 9.075 .. Maddy Iverson 9.075 … Preheim 8.650. Total: 36.550.

Class A
Individual finals

ALL-AROUND — (1) Jada Olsen, Perham/New York Mills, 37.8000 … (2) Anna Mielke, Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka, 37.350 … (3) Sawyer Gorman, Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 37.1750 … (7) Ciera Anderson, New London-Spicer, 36.650 … (13) Libby McGeary, Benson/Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, 36.1500 … (18) Lyndi Koosman, W, 35.2250.
VAULT — (1) Olsen, P/NYM, 9.8750 … (2) Mielke, WM/MW 9.6500 … (3) Avery McAllister, P/NYM, 9.6000 … (16) Kamryn Quenemone, NLS, 9.4000 … (17) Lili :Sampson, NLS, 9.4000 … (28) Koosman, Willmar, 9.2750 … (29) Anderson, NLS, 9.2750 … (32) Abby Knudsen, NLS, 9.2000 … (37) McGeary, Benson/KMS, 8.9750.
BARS — (1) Olsen, P/NYM, 9.6750 … (2) Regan Kelley, WM/MW, 9.4250 … (3) Jenna Sikel, Mankato West, 9.400 … (6) Anderson, NLS, 9.0000 … (10) Abigail Coquyt, Willmar, 8.8250 … (21) Koosman, W, 8.6250 … (23) McGeary, B/KMS, 8.5750 … (26) Kim Joneson, Willmar, 8.5250 … (29) Knudsen, NLS, 8.1500.
BEAM — (1) McGeary, B/KMS, 9.6000 … (2) Amber Roble, Byron, 9.3750 ... (3) Jaci Newman, PI/ZM, 9.2500 … (4) Anderson, NLS, 9.2750 … (13) Tayva Carruthers, Willmar, 8.8250 … (23) Joneson, W, 8.3750 … (24) Koosman, W, 8.3000.
FLOOR — (1) Gorman, PIZM, 9.650 … (2) Rosie Unglaub, WM/MW, 9.5500 … (3) Mielke, WM/MW, 9.4750 … (9) Ashlyn Olson, NLS, 9.3000 … (12) Coquyt, W, 9.2000 … (19) Anderson, NLS, 9.1000 … (20) Quenemoen, NLS, 9.0750 … (24) Koosman, W, 9.025 … (26) McGeary, B/KMS, 9.0000.

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Willmar's Tayva Carruthers (from left), New London-Spicer's Ashlyn Olson (center) and Willmar's Abigail Coquyt (back) embrace Friday, March 26, 2001 at the state gymnastics meet at Champlin Park High School. All three are seniors. Photo by Sherri LaRose-Chiglo

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Willmar's Tayva Carruthers (from left), New London-Spicer's Ashlyn Olson (center) and Willmar's Abigail Coquyt (back) embrace Friday, March 26, 2001 at the state gymnastics meet at Champlin Park High School. All three are seniors. Photo by Sherri LaRose-Chiglo

Related Topics: GYMNASTICSLOCAL SPORTSWILLMAR CARDINALS
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