by SYDNEY MOHR
From The Winonan, WSU’s student newspaper
The Winona State University’s gymnastics team won their last home meet in McCown Gymnasium on Thursday, February 15, against University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 183.325-182.125. The Warriors have improved to a three to one score in their head-to-head meets in conference.
In the last home meet for many of the seniors, the Warriors shined in all of their events.
Regardless, the Warriors took to the floor first and claimed four of the top five placing positions. Sophomore Kennedy Utz finished first on floor with a score of 9.55, and fellow sophomore Ashley Wright came in second with her season best score of 9.525. Sophomore Leah Messelt ended fourth with her routine and a score of 9.475, and senior Emily Woitchek snagged the fifth spot with a personal season high of 9.375.
“It’s one of my favorite things, to watch these girls blossom over the course of a season,” head coach Beckie Rolbiecki said. “Each girl starts and ends with a completely different demeanor and goal every season. It’s fun to watch them perfect the routines they have spent weeks working on and get the scores they really deserve.”
First-year Anna Hiller showed off her skills on beam, landing her in first place position with a score of 9.175. Junior Miranda Saathoff (9.0), senior Katie Carling (8.975) and sophomore Kelly Johnston (8.85) placed fourth through sixth on beam, respectively.
“It’s been so much fun being able to compete with the Warriors this semester,” Hiller said. “I have improved so much in my skills, and I’m excited that I was able to place as a [first-year]. Hopefully, the team can keep up this good energy and make our way to Nationals, which is the ultimate goal.”
Carling had her best scoring of the night on uneven parallel bars with a score of 9.375 earning her third place. Hiller (9.325), first-year Shelsea Zehr (9.15) and Sunny Hasebe (9.1) placed fourth through sixth. Woitchek tallied her second season-high score of the meet with a seventh-place finish at 8.925.
Sophomore Alana Currin rounded out the meet by placing third in vault with a score of 9.375, one of her best of the season.
The announcement of their win was met with cheers.
“This just puts us one step closer to Nationals,” Hasebe said. “It’s what the entire team has been striving for all season. We need to keep working hard so we can continue to perform to our very best.”
Eboni Jackson is still on injured reserve and did not compete this past Thursday.
The Warriors will have their last dual meet on Friday, February 23, at 6:30 p.m. at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. This will be their last official meet before heading to Regionals on Sunday, March 4, in St. Peter, Minn., for a shot at going to Nationals next month.