The Rhinelander High School gymnastics team kicked off the season with a victory Saturday at the Chequamegon Invite in Park Falls.
The Hodags broke the 107-point barrier despite not having two-time state qualifier Elle Spiegelhoff in the lineup. The senior sat out after tweaking her neck Thursday in practice.
"We just decided it was better for her to stay back," RHS gymnastics coach Jen Pooch said. "Overall it was a good team effort to take first without her. Sara Krueger had a great day. Megan (Thornton) had an awesome day."
Thornton, a senior, won the individual all-around title with a score of 29.15 points. She placed first on the uneven bars (7.5), second on the floor exercise (7.875) and tied for third on the vault (8.1).
Krueger, a junior, won the floor exercise (7.875) and finished second on the balance beam (7.3). Sophomore Stephanie Allen won the vault (8.3) and finished fourth on beam (6.5).
"All of our girls did really well for the first meet," Pooch said. "I was impressed with them. They executed their routines pretty well. It was a matter of just getting the nerves out and we had a pretty good day."
Sophomore Alyssa Ellis was the runner-up in the uneven bars (6.65) and Pooch noted the performance of freshman Kenzi Meedering on the floor exercise (6.85).
The meet featured fellow Great Northern Conference Small division teams Chequamegon, Lakeland and Mosinee, giving the Hodags a first look at their competition this season.
"Chequamegon looked really good," Pooch said. "I think they got a 105 today. We were without Elle, so that changes our score pretty dramatically. We would have probably been up near 115 with her in the lineup. (The other teams in the GNC Small) are definitely improving, from what I can see, which is good. It should be more competitive."
Rhinelander will host the annual Hodag "Snowflake" Invite Dec. 8 at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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