The Rhinelander High School gymnastics team could not match its performance from a few days earlier in a return trip to Antigo Tuesday night.
The Hodags were off more than 5 1/2 points from their season best and fell to Antigo 121.725-109.425 in a Great Northern Conference Small-Large crossover dual meet at Sheldon Fieldhouse.
Rhinelander came in off a season-high team score of 115.0 on Saturday in the Antigo Invite, but was not able to match that performance. Drops in team scores on balance beam and floor exercise made up most of the difference.
"We were not as good as Saturday. Everybody was just so on and clean (Saturday). We weren't tonight," Rhinelander coach Heather Sturtevant said.
Junior Lilli Bishop was Rhinelander's top performer in three of the four events as she placed fourth in the all-around with a score of 29.25 points. Bishop finished in the top five in all four events, highlighted by a runner-up finish on balance beam (7.05). She was fourth on floor exercise and fifth on both uneven bars and the vault.
"Lilli did crack the 7 on beam, which was good," Sturtevant noted. "She did have a nice, strong performance on floor. It wasn't her personal best like Saturday, but she still hit the 29 mark (in the all-around). That was nice."
Bridget Koser had Rhinelander's second-best finish on the night, taking third-place on the floor exercise (7.75). Amber Briggs had Rhinelander's only other top five finish, placing fifth on beam (6.75).
"Bridget put down a nice floor routine but still is not quite as clean. She was our top scorer on floor," Sturtevant noted. "Amber put up a real nice (beam routine). She had our second highest score. We've been playing around with her routine in the last couple meets. We've been talking to the judges and (figuring out) kind of a better way for her to get the most bang for her buck for the skills she is putting in. She really is putting in a lot of high-level stuff, it's just what's the best combination. Today her score was higher and we learned a few more tweaks we're going to make."
Autumn Shafer was Rhinelander's only other all-around participant. She finished seventh with a 27.025.
The Hodags remain in the lead in the GNC Small Division at 3-0. Crossover meets do not affect the conference standings. Medford, which hosts Lakeland on Thursday, has a chance to match Rhinelander at 3-0 in the GNC Small heading into what will likely be a battle for first place in the division next Tuesday at the Miazga Gym.
Rhinelander will have its work cut out for it next Tuesday against a Raider team that has already exceeded 125 points in two GNC duals this year. Sturtevant said it has come to the point of the season where all the little details must be properly executed.
"We'll really used tonight to self-reflect tomorrow, go back, look at the videos and understand why some things that might have felt clean weren't," she said. "Simple things like pointing our toes on everything during a routine are now hitting our scores harder because (the judges) are expecting us to clean up so many things. You have to get all the way around on a jump and stick it. You can't bounce out of it or not quite make the full rotation and kind of cheat it. We'll really hit it hard, back to our basic mechanics and clean all of that stuff up before next week."
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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