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MCA’s Cole, BEA’s Armstrong earn individual gymnastics state bids

Hannah Cole

ST. JAMES — Martin County Area Magic freshman Hannah Cole and Blue Earth Area Bucs’ senior Addison Armstrong punched their respective tickets to next week’s Class A individual state gymnastics meet.

Cole, who powered the Magic to third place in the Section 2A Meet’s nine-team standings with a season’s-best total of 136.375, qualified for state by capturing third place on the vault with a 9.4-scored pike Tsuk on Thursday night in St. James.

Armstrong, who topped the Bucs’ seventh-place team total of 129.85, pocketed the gold medal in the sectional meet’s balance beam competition with a first-place score of 9.225.

Armstrong also garnered the third individual state bid — excluding the sectional meet’s top three all-arounders — by placing sixth overall on the floor exercise with a 9.125-scored performance.

Armstrong and Cole will compete on the equipment at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul in the Class A individual state meet at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 24.

The Mankato West Scarlets, who fended off their cross-town rival Mankato East Cougars for the Section 2 team championship by a 140.275-139.9 decision on Thursday night, will contend for the Class A team state crown at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23, at Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul.

East’s Aubrey Britz outdueled West’s Charley Fernandez for top all-around honors by a narrow winning margin — 35.725-35.7 — while East’s Rylie Hansen collected the section’s bronze medal overall also with a 35.7, but fell short on the superior judge’s scorecard to Fernandez for runner-up accolades.

Armstrong earned a sectional medal by netting sixth overall in the all-around competition with a total of 35.25 points, while Cole finished three spots back with a ninth-place all-around score of 34.875 for the Magic.

The top three individuals on the four pieces of equipment, excluding the sectional’s top three all-arounders, merited trips to the Class A elite meet next Saturday in St. Paul.

West’s Niya Hauer fended off Scarlets’ teammate Grace Jacobson for first place on the vault table, 9.7-9.475, respectively, while MCA’s Cole nailed down third overall with a 9.4

MCA’s Lillie Schultz, who produced an all-around total of 34.175, finished two spots away from a state bid on the vault at 9.1, while Armstrong was ninth on the event at 9.05.

Waseca’s Bella Wikan struck gold on the uneven parallel bars with an 8.925-scored effort, with West’s Jacobson claiming an individual state berth by taking second with an 8.825.

Fernandez and Hansen each netted 8.8s, while St. Peter’s Trista Landsom claimed the final state-qualifying bid on the unevens at 8.675. Cole just missed a trip to state by netting seventh on the unevens with an 8.55.

Hauer and Britz followed Armstrong in completing the top three spots on the podium on the sectional beam’s competition. Hauer took the silver with a 9.05, while Britz was next at 9.025.

St. Peter’s Addison Landsom edged MCA’s Mollie Leiding by criteria to capture the final individual qualifying spot on the beam, with both gymnasts netting 8.725s.

Fernandez outdueled Britz for the gold on the floor by a 9.55-9.45 margin, with Waseca’s Layla Keith (9.35), East’s Kailynn Thul (9.25) and Armstrong (9.125) rounding out the state qualifiers.

Section 2A Meet

Team Standings (Champion advances to state): 1. Mankato West 140.275; 2. Mankato East 139.9; 3. Martin County Area 136.375; 4. St. Peter 135.1; 5. New Ulm United 132.525; 6. Waseca 131.45; 7. Blue Earth Area 129.85; 8. St. James Area 108.525; 9. Faribault 32.5.

All-Around (Top 3 advance to state): 1. Aubrey Britz (East) 35.725; 2. (by criteria) Charley Fernandez (West) 35.7; 3. Rylie Hansen (East) 35.7; 4. Niya Hauer (West) 35.45; 5. Grace Jacobson (West) 35.35; 6. Addison Armstrong (BEA) 35.25.

Other Area Scores: 9. Hannah Cole (MCA) 34.875; Lillie Schultz (MCA) 34.175; Addison Olson (BEA) 32.625; Abi Chavez (MCA) 32.2.

Individuals (Top 3 AAs &

next 3 advance to state)

Vault: Q1. Niya Hauer (West) 9.7; Q2. Grace Jacobson (West) 9.475; Q3. Hannah Cole (MCA) 9.4; 4. Aubrey Britz (East) 9.375; 5. Rylie Hansen (East) 9.325; 6. Kailynn Thul (East) 9.225.

Other Area Scores: 8. Lillie Schultz (MCA) 9.1; 9. Addison Armstrong (BEA) 9.05; Tailor Douglas (BEA) 8.8; Nola Thedens (MCA) 8.75; Addison Olson (BEA) 8.7; Jadyn Montgomery (MCA) 8.6; Abi Chavez (MCA) 8.5; Kailey Boettcher (BEA) 8.25; Lauren Survis (BEA) 8.1.

Uneven Parallel Bars: Q1. Bella Wikan (WAS) 8.925; Q2. Grace Jacobson (West) 8.825; 3. (by criteria) Charley Fernandez (West) 8.8; 4. Rylie Hansen (East) 8.8; Q5. Trista Landsom (STP) 8.675; 6. Josie Sellner (NUA) 8.575.

Area Scores: 7. Hannah Cole (MCA) 8.55; Adrianna Knafla (MCA) 8.1; Lillie Schultz (MCA) 8.025; Jadyn Montgomery (MCA) 7.975; Addison Armstrong (BEA) 7.85; Addison Olson (BEA) 7.725; Tailor Douglas (BEA) 7.6; Natalie Griffey (BEA) 7.375; Abi Chavez (MCA) 7.3; Lauren Survis (BEA) 6.075.

Balance Beam: Q1. Addison Armstrong (BEA) 9.225; Q2. Niya Hauer (West) 9.05; 3. Aubrey Britz (East) 9.025; Q4. (by criteria) Addison Landsom (STP) 8.725; 5. Mollie Leiding (MCA) 8.725; 6. Laura Klatt (STP) 8.675.

Other Area Scores: Abi Chavez (MCA) 8.125; Hannah Cole (MCA) 8.075; Addison Olson (BEA) 8.05; Lillie Schultz (MCA) 8.0; Tailor Douglas (BEA) 7.175; Nola Thedens (MCA) 7.0; Lauren Survis (BEA) 6.95; Kailey Boettcher (BEA) 6.8.

Floor Exercise: 1. Charley Fernandez (West) 9.55; 2. Aubrey Britz (East) 9.45; Q3. Layla Keith (WAS) 9.35; 4. Rylie Hansen (East) 9.3; Q5. Kailynn Thul (East) 9.225; Q6. Addison Armstrong (BEA) 9.125.

Other Area Scores: Lillie Schultz (MCA) 9.05; Hannah Cole (MCA) 8.85; Nola Thedens (MCA) 8.625; Jadyn Montgomery (MCA) 8.425; Abi Chavez (MCA) 8.375; Addison Olson (BEA) 8.15; Kailey Boettcher (BEA) 8.025; Kyannah Brandt (BEA) 7.8; Lauren Survis (BEA) 7.7.

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