WELCOME - Two of southern Minnesota's top all-arounders matched one another skill for skill as the last two Section 3A team champions clashed during Saturday's Martin County Area gymnastics invitational in Welcome.
When the chalk finally settled, Magic junior sensation Rebecca Steen produced 36.425 points to capture the all-around competition by .225 of a point over Huskies' senior standout Brandi Sether-Hassing, with both gymnasts winning two individual events each.
Sether-Hassing and Class A, No. 6-ranked JCC, however, prevailed in the team competition by outdueling No. 19 MCA, 139.875-134.825.
While Sether-Hassing netted a runner-up total of 36.2, freshman standout Haley Bass packed stellar scoring punch to the Huskies' winning ways by claiming third place overall with a 34.55, including three top-four showings.
Seventh-grade phenom Samantha Pierce generated a fourth-place all-around mark of 32.375 to guide the Luverne Cardinals to a third-place team total of 125.0.
"We're inching closer to 135," Magic assistant coach Brian Steen said with a smile. "Another season-high for the third straight meet."
Unfortunately, MCA lost solid point producer and junior co-captain Briana Gratz to an ACL injury earlier this season, but Rebecca Steen has returned to form after suffering a high ankle sprain and junior teammate Brooklyn Leichtnam continues to recover from an elbow injury.
Steen generated her third consecutive all-around score in the 36-point range, while Brooklyn Leichtnam captured third place on the balance beam with an 8.825 to add offensive firepower to the Magic's steady scoring climb from 134.275 on Tuesday to 134.475 on Thursday.
Steen needed only one attempt on the vault to post a gold-medal mark of 9.45, turning and landing a piked Tsukahara out of the Magic lineup's anchor spot.
Steen also captured top honors on the floor by capping her initial tumbling sequence by twisting a flawless double-full to pace a 9.475.
The MCA junior co-captain also netted runner-up accolades to Sether-Hassing on the uneven parallel bars, and added a fifth-place showing (8.475) on the beam.
Steen utilized a textbook counter-swing transitional move from the high to low bar, swung two giants and landed her toe-front dismount for a 9.025.
Sether-Hassing, however, executed a near-perfect bale transitional move from high to low bar, spun a pair of giants and hit her inward dismount for a winning mark of 9.25.
Sether-Hassing also displayed her combination of strength and finesse en route to generating a first-place total of 9.075 on the balance beam. The JCC senior powered up a shoulder press on the 4 inch-wide apparatus and planted a firm standing back tuck to highlight her high-scoring routine.
While Sether-Hassing added a silver-medal effort of 9.3 on the floor, Bass claimed second on the beam with a 9.0, tied Huskies' teammate Riley Schneekloth for third on the vault with 9.075s, and added a fourth-place effort on the unevens at 8.225.
Michaela Vancura contributed a second-place vault score of 9.175 to JCC's winning performance, in addition to sharing third-place with teammate Brooklyn Schuett on the floor with 9.0s.
Martha Olson rotated her Tsukahara for a fourth-place total of 8.95 for the Magic on vault, while contributing a fifth-place score of 8.3 on the floor. Lexy Ringnell rounded out MCA's top-five finishers by generating a fourth-place mark of 8.475 on the floor.
Martin County Area travels to St. James for a South Central Conference dual meet on Thursday night, while Jackson County Central plays host to Luverne on Friday night in Jackson.
2013 MCA INVITE
Team Standings: 1. Jackson County Central 139.875; 2. Martin County Area 134.825; 3. Luverne 125.0.
All-Around: 1. Rebecca Steen (MCA) 36.425; 2. Brandi Sether-Hassing (JCC) 36.2; 3. Haley Bass (JCC) 34.55; 4. Samantha Pierce (L) 32.375.
Vault: 1. Rebecca Steen (MCA) 9.45; 2. Michaela Vancura (JCC) 9.175; 3. (tie) Haley Bass (JCC) and Riley Schneekloth (JCC) 9.075s; 4. Martha Olson (MCA) 8.95; 5. Erin Sietsma (L) 8.9.
Other MCA scores: Mackenzie Betts 8.775; Sydney Leichtnam 8.275; Maggie Bachenberg 8.25.
Uneven Parallel Bars: 1. Brandi Sether-Hassing (JCC) 9.25; 2. Rebecca Steen (MCA) 9.025; 3. Sydnee Donnelli (JCC) 8.85; 4. Haley Bass (JCC) 8.225; 5. Abby Schneekloth (JCC) 8.0.
Other MCA scores: Andrea Thate 7.875; Sydney Leichtnam 7.675; Martha Olson 7.325; Lexy Ringnell 7.325.
Balance Beam: 1. Brandi Sether-Hassing (JCC) 9.075; 2. Haley Bass (JCC) 9.0; 3. Brooklyn Leichtnam (MCA) 8.825; 4. Samantha Pierce (L) 8.7; 5. Rebecca Steen (MCA) 8.475.
Other MCA scores: Sydney Leichtnam 8.275; Mackenzie Betts 7.475; Brielle Meade 6.15.
Floor Exercise: 1. Rebecca Steen (MCA) 9.475; 2. Brandi Sether-Hassing (JCC) 9.3; 3. (tie) Michaela Vancura (JCC) and Brooklyn Schuett (JCC) 9.0s; 4. Lexy Ringnell (MCA) 8.475; 5. Martha Olson (MCA) 8.3.
Other MCA scores: Maggie Bachenberg 8.175; Kersten Shantz 8.075.
Team Standings: 1. Jackson County Central 129.725; 2. Martin County Area 121.825; 3. Luverne 110.575.
All-Around: 1. Jessica Voehl (JCC) 30.55; 2. Jenna Steele (MCA) 29.975; 3. Cara Behrends (MCA) 27.85; 4. Marisol Hartshorn (L) 26.0.
Vault: 1. Mady Vancura (JCC) 8.975; 2. Makenna Donnelli (JCC) 8.85; 3. Brooklyn Schuett (JCC) 8.825; 4. (tie) Sydney Nyborg (JCC) and Jadin Bezdicek (JCC) 8.8s; 5. (tie) Jessica Voehl (JCC) and Madison Schandelmeier (L) 8.55s.
MCA scores: Brielle Meade 8.375; Andrea Thate 8.325; Jenna Steele 8.275; Kersten Shantz 8.25; Cara Behrends 8.225; Kayla Shantz 8.0.
Unevens: 1. (tie) Brooklyn Schuett (JCC) Megan Anderson (JCC) 7.575s; 2. Jessica Voehl (JCC) 7.4; 3. Brielle Scheepstra (JCC) 7.375; 4. Kayla Shantz (MCA) 7.325; 5. Mackenzie Betts (MCA) 7.025.
Other MCA scores: Jenna Steele 6.6; Maggie Bachenberg 6.375; Kersten Shantz 6.225; Cara Behrends 4.075.
Beam: 1. Brielle Scheepstra (JCC) 8.5; 2. Brooklyn Schuett (JCC) 8.2; 3. Cara Behrends (MCA) 7.85; 4. Jenna Steele (MCA) 7.425; 5. Sydney Nyborg (JCC) 7.025.
Other MCA scores: Lexy Ringnell 7.0; Andrea Thate 6.95; Kayla Shantz 6.825; Kersten Shantz 6.825.
Floor: 1. Abby Schneekloth (JCC) 8.675; 2. Riley Schneekloth (JCC) 8.5; 3. Sophie Johnson (JCC) 8.325; 4. Mady Vancura (JCC) 8.3; 5. (tie) Mackenzie Betts (MCA) and Jessica Voehl (JCC) 8.25s.
Other MCA scores: Brielle Meade 8.125; Sydney Leichtnam 7.975; Cara Behrends 7.7; Andrea Thate 7.7; Jenna Steele 7.675.