Eagle gymnasts fly past Marshall

NEW ULM – After the first three events at Monday’s gymnastics meet against Marshall, New Ulm was already having a dominant night.

The Eagles proceeded to up their game even further in the floor event, earning three scores above 9.0 to put an exclamation point on a 137.45-101-45 victory.

“The consistency on floor has just skyrocketed for the varsity girls,” New Ulm head coach Ariel McFarland said. “We’re not going into floor shaky anymore wondering what’s going to happen, so that’s always a good start.”

After first breaking the 137 mark on Jan. 17, New Ulm has now scored higher than 137 in three of its past four meets.

“It’s our third 137 of the year, so it’s consistent, it’s good,” McFarland said.

Apart from a shaky start on bars, the Eagles posted respectable scores throughout the line-up, earning every podium spot in the four events.

“I just think all around their consistency is getting better,” McFarland said. “I think that bars was a little rough, but I think that’s kind of what you expect on a Monday meet. You can’t expect their best meet on a Monday.”

New Ulm senior Michaela Otterstatter earned a sound victory in the all-around with a score of 35.425, comfortably ahead of Marshall’s Natalie Rademacher in second place (26.85).

Otterstatter also placed first on the vault (8.925) and on the beam (9.05), while adding second-place finishes on the floor (9.1) and the bars (8.35).

Eagles junior Emily Gulden placed in all three of her events, winning the floor event with a 9.2 and earning third-place finishes on the bars (7.95) and the beam (8.1).

“It feels really good to be able to be consistent and do good for the team,” Gulden said. “I just tried my best and did the best I could.”

New Ulm senior Kim Berg placed first on bars (8.55) with her usual exceptional routine.

Michaela Howk placed third for the Eagles on the vault (8.7) and tied with teammate Allison Rosenhamer for second on the beam (8.3).

After the team’s up-and-down session on bars, Rosenhamer went first for the Eagles on the beam and immediately set the tone for the team’s strong finish to the meet with her performance. She also finished fourth in the floor event with an 8.85.

“I think the last three meets in a row now she’s had a few falling issues,” McFarland said of Rosenhamer. “She hasn’t been placing, she hasn’t been getting above a 7.9, so I think that this was good for her to remember she can do it.”

New Ulm seventh-grader Kirsten Spaude placed second on the vault (8.725) and Molly Klimek placed third for the Eagles on the floor (9.075).

The Eagles’ success on the night was echoed in the JV competition, with the Eagles putting up their best score of the season in winning by a 125.2-81.7 margin.

“It’s our high score for JV,” McFarland said. “I believe we started at around a 112, so for them to jump up that much is insane, that’s extremely good. They should be proud of themselves, I’m proud of them.”

New Ulm’s Bergan Forst won the all-around on the JV side with a score of 31.7 and also placed first on the bars (7.85). She was second on the vault (8.55) and on the beam (8.1).

Howk won the floor event with an 8.1, Klimek placed first on the beam with an 8.3 and Gulden was first on the vault with an 8.65.

New Ulm’s Allison Lease was second in the all-around (30.4) and added a second-place finish on the bars (7.7) and third-place finishes on the beam (7.0) and the floor (7.3).

Berg was second on the floor (7.8) and vault (8.5) and Spaude was third on the bars (7.6).

New Ulm will host Blue Earth Area at 6 p.m. on Friday for its final South Central Conference meet.

The Eagles are 4-0 so far in SCC competition, so a victory Friday would clinch the conference title.

“If we have an on night, we could take the traveling trophy, so it’s very exciting for these guys,” McFarland said. “We haven’t had that since 2008.”

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