Eighth-grader Avery Wilson earned a trip to the Class A state gymnastics meet on bars and beam to lead Redwood Valley to a runner-up finish Feb. 15 at the Section 3A meet held in Worthington.
The Cardinals finished in second place behind powerhouse Worthington (142.00) with a score of 134.3, topping rival Jackson County Central (JCC) (133.025) in the process for their first win over the Huskies in more than a decade.
Ironically, the last time the Cards defeated JCC was during the 2008-09 season when now Assistant Coach Dean Wilson was the head coach, and current Head Coach Kelsi Limoges was a member of the team.
Wilson – the daughter of Dean Wilson – capped off a strong season by advancing to state on both bars and beam and finishing fourth overall in the All-Around (the top three advance). She was second on bars with a score of 8.7 and tied for fifth on beam with an 8.95. She also added an 8.8 on floor and an 8.575 on vault to finish with an All-Around total of 35.025.
“Getting to state was her primary goal heading into the season, so it’s exciting for her to get a chance to move on,” Dean Wilson said. “As the season progressed we knew her best chance to get to state was on bars, and she also stuck her beam routine at Sections last year. So we had a feeling she had a chance there as well.”
Senior Emma Stevenson capped off a strong career for the Cardinals with an 8.7 on beam, an 8.75 on vault and an 8.725 on floor.
Riley Franklin had a nice afternoon, falling just short of advancing on vault and bars with an 8.9 on vault (8.925 took fifth place), added an 8.275 on floor, an 8.05 on bars (8.1 took fifth) and a 7.8 on beam to finish with an All-Around total of 33.025.
Senior Hailey Mohr wrapped up a nice career as well for the Cards with a 7.9 on bars, a 7.65 on beam and an 8.1 on floor.
Fellow senior Sidney Beran also competed in her final meet, scoring an 8.2 on floor, Mikayla Opatz added a 7.75 on bars and a 7.3 on beam, Cece Hartle had a 7.55 on beam, Ellie Mertens added an 8.575 on vault and Ella Stoneberg an 8.3 on vault.
Hali Bullerman of Worthington captured the All-Around with a 36.275. Teammate Gracia Elias was second (35.65), and Marshall’s Saphi McFarquhar third (35.6).
“It was a great day for us with a roller coaster of emotions,” Coach Kelsi Limoges said. “It was sad to watch our seniors compete for the last time but also very exciting, because they all performed extremely well. Avery had a great day and has had a great season overall, so it will be fun to see her get a chance to compete at the state meet.”
The state tournament takes place Feb. 21 (team competition) and Feb. 22 (individual) at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Minneapolis. Class A Individual action is slated to start at 11 a.m. Feb. 22.