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Magic gymnasts tame Cobras in season-opener

GETTING VERTICAL — Martin County Area gymnast Anna Utermarck elevates during her balance beam routine during season-opening dual-meet action Tuesday night at Live Fit Sport and Wellness Center in Fairmont. Utermarck won the vault competition to help guide the Magic to a team triumph over Windom Area. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — The Martin County Area Magic gymnasts delivered a season-opening dual-meet victory to Annie Post during her varsity coaching debut on Tuesday night.

Anna Utermarck rotated and planted her vault for a gold-medal mark of 8.75, while teammates Ellie Hernes, Ellie Schultze and Hannah Linse all shared runner-up marks — 8.65s — off the vaulting table to power Martin County Area to a 124.15-122.85 win over the Windom Area Cobras during Big South Conference action at Live Fit Sport and Wellness Center in Fairmont.

“We kind of figured out where some of the pieces to our lineup fit tonight,” said Post, who’s in her seventh season overall with the MCA gymnastics program. “It’s a good place to start and grow from here.”

With second-leading scorer Anna Bachenberg on the injured reserve list to open the winter campaign, Hernes literally elevated her overall skills to place third in the all-around competition with a total of 30.325 to serve as a scoring catalyst for the Magic.

Hernes finished in a three-way tie with Schultze and Linse on the vault, claimed fourth place on the balance beam with a 7.9, and produced a fourth-place score of 7.7 on the floor exercise.

Hailee Schuett and Schultze each contributed potent point production for the Magic, with Schultze edging Schuett for second-place honors on the balance beam, 8.275-8.05, respectively.

Schuett then produced another runner-up performance — an 8.2-scoring routine on the floor exercise — to help MCA fend off Windom Area in the overall team competition.

MCA’s Abi Chavez tied Windom Area’s Ashlyn Altman for third place on the floor with a pair of 7.85s, while Mollie Leiding chipped in a fifth-place score of 7.65 for the Magic.

Jadyn Montgomery and Chavez supplied solid point production on the judges’ scorecards for the Magic on the uneven parallel bars. Montgomery claimed third place with a 7.05, while Chavez netted fifth at 6.675.

Brooklyn Paulson won the all-around competition for Windom Area with a total of 33 points even. Brooklyn Paulson took top honors on the floor (8.4) and beam (8.85), while taking second to teammate Kaden Paulson on the unevens, 7.275-7.1, respectively.

Martin County Area (1-0) plays host to Marshall at 6 p.m. next Tuesday in another conference dual meet at Live Fit Sport and Wellness Center in Fairmont.

MCA 124.15; Windom Area 122.85

All-Around: 1. Brooklyn Paulson (WDM) 33.0; 2. Ashlyn Altman (WDM) 30.425; 3. Ellie Hernes (MCA) 30.325.

Vault: 1. Anna Utermarck (MCA) 8.75; 2. (tie) Ellie Hernes (MCA), Ellie Schultze (MCA) and Hannah Linse (MCA) 8.65s; 3. (tie) Brooklyn Paulson (WDM) and Kaden Paulson (WDM) 8.5s; 4. Addison Cobert (WDM) 8.35.

Other MCA score: Jadyn Montgomery 8.2.

Uneven Parallel Bars: 1. Kaden Paulson (WDM) 7.275; 2. Brooklyn Paulson (WDM) 7.1; 3. Jadyn Montgomery (MCA) 7.05; 4. Ashlyn Altman (WDM) 6.75; 5. Abi Chavez (MCA) 6.675.

Other MCA scores: Hailee Schuett 6.5; Ellie Schultze 6.2; Ellie Hernes 6.075.

Balance Beam: 1. Brooklyn Paulson (WDM) 8.85; 2. Ellie Schultze (MCA) 8.275; 3. Hailee Schuett (MCA) 8.05; 4. Ellie Hernes (MCA) 7.9; 5. Ashlyn Altman (WDM) 7.625.

Other MCA scores: Anna Utermarck 7.4; Abi Chavez 7.125.

Floor Exercise: 1. Brooklyn Paulson (WDM) 8.4; 2. Hailee Schuett (MCA) 8.2; 3. (tie) Abi Chavez (MCA) and Ashlyn Altman (WDM) 7.85s; 4. Ellie Hernes (MCA) 7.7; 5. Mollie Leiding (MCA) 7.65

Other MCA score: Jadyn Montgomery 7.225.

MCA JV 100.7; Windom Area 97.65

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