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February 18, 2020

Rhinelander’s Amber Briggs performs on vault during a Great Northern Conference crossover dual meet between Rhinelander and Wisconsin Rapids at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium Tuesday, Jan. 14. (Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
Rhinelander’s Amber Briggs performs on vault during a Great Northern Conference crossover dual meet between Rhinelander and Wisconsin Rapids at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium Tuesday, Jan. 14. (Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
1/16/2020 7:33:00 AM
Hodag gymnasts finish strong on floor in dual meet loss to Rapids

Jeremy Mayo
Sports Editor

The Rhinelander High School gymnastics team did not have enough firepower to keep up with Wisconsin Rapids Tuesday night, but the Hodags did end the Great Northern Conference crossover dual on a high note.

Lilli Bishop and Bridget Koser went 1-2 for the Hodags on floor exercise, the highlight in a 119.7-107.4 loss to the Raiders at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium.

Rapids outscored Rhinelander in all four events, but floor exercise was by far the closest of the four with the Raiders holding a scant tenth of a point edge over the Hodags.

"Floor was definitely the high point, absolutely phenomenal," Rhinelander coach Heather Sturtevant said. "Having it be last was just awesome. Abby (Belbot) threw in another new skill, which she's pretty much been doing every meet, which got her a personal best on floor with a 7.15. Lilli and Bridget just killed it and took 1-2. To end the meet that way was just awesome."

Bishop was in the 8s for the second consecutive meet, taking the event with a score of 8.1. Koser finished second with a 7.9.

Those were Rhinelander's best finishes on the night. Amber Briggs finished third for the Hodags on balance beam (6.95) but, overall, it was a rough night for the Hodags in that event.

"Beam was not our friend again today," Sturtevant said. "Abby was the only no-fall routine, and that did put up a personal best for her (8th, 6.15), but otherwise we had seven falls. We cannot throw up good scores with a lot of falls. The girls know that and they're now very motivated to kind of go back to some basics so we can quit doing that."

Bishop (T-5th, 7.9) was Rhinelander's top finisher on vault and Koser (5th, 6.65) led the way on uneven bars. Bishop finished fourth in the individual all-around (29.15) while Belbot finished fifth (24.25).

"Bars, even though the scores don't reflect it quite as well, Bridget's routine was really nice," Sturtevant said. "It wasn't her personal best, but it was a season best. She's just improving every time. Allysa Scheuermann got a personal best, she finally cracked a 4 (8th, 4.2), which is awesome."

The meet concluded a stretch of three competitions in six days for the Hodags following a long holiday break. The team returns to action next Thursday in a GNC Small dual at Lakeland.

"The girls were solid at the end, and now we know a lot of what we need to work on," Sturtevant said. "Now we can just get back to our basics, get back to practice instead of three meets in six days. They were tired, too."

Jeremy Mayo may be reached at

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