Although the Rhinelander High School gymnastic team did not qualify as a team to compete in the 2018 WIAA Division 2 State Tournament, they had two individuals qualify and compete over the weekend. Senior Stephanie Kuester and junior Raven Sturtevant of the Hodags both competed on Saturday at state held in Wisconsin Rapids.
Both Rhinelander gymnasts finished at the back of the pack, but was success that the two were the only members of the team to qualify for a position. Kuester finished 24th out of 25 competitors on the floor exercise with a score of an 8.1 in the three-judge panel. While Sturtevant finished last out 26 gymnasts on the uneven bars with a score of 6.7.
It also marked Sturevant and Kuesters' first trip to state. Both scores of Kuester and Sturtevant in their events were off from their sectional scores at Antigo. In the GNC meet Kuester scored an 8.4 on the floor for first in the GNC Small division and Sturtevant scored a 7.650 for second in the GNC small.
Senior Samantha Krueger of River Falls earned the WIAA Division 2 all-around title with a score of 36.950. She was also the lone all-around gymnasts to score about a 36. Freshman runner-up Addie Gallun of Whitefish Bay charted a 35.867. Two GNC Large division schools also had gymnasts compete for the all-round; Isabelle Seeger of Ashland (18th) and Emma Jansen of Antigo (19th). Kuester actually beat both Seeger's and Jansen's state all-around scores in the GNC meet earlier this season.
Rhinelander will lose three seniors next season due to graduation; Stephanie Kuester, Makayla Kuester, and Alyssa Mitchell. Sturtevant will return to the lineup, and will look to lead the 2018-2018 RHS gymnastic team that returns several talented underclassmen along with a balance of experienced gymnasts that will push to make another appearance at the WIAA State Meet.
Photo By Bob Mainhardt File Photos from Bob Mainhardt
Although the Rhinelander High School gymnastics team was one position away from making it to state as a team, they will still send two gymnasts individually. The Hodags competed in the WIAA Division 2 sectional in Antigo on Thursday night, and would record their season best score of 121.9 points for third place.
But Ashland and Antigo edged Rhinelander for the two state qualifying positions. The Oredockers won with a score of 134.55 and the Robins finished second at 127.45. The Hodags' top finish as a team came on the floor exercise where they scored a 33.275 which as a season-best and their second-best finish was on the vault they finished with a 31.800. RHS scored a 28.725 on the balance beam and 28.100 on the uneven bars.
Rhinelander used early momentum on the floor to carry over after a pair of freshman set their career-best scores; Lilli Bishop finished with an 8.025 and teammate Autumn Shafer recorded a 7.900.
Senior Stephanie Kuester and junior Raven Sturtevant will both extend their 2017-2018 season and advance individually to compete for Rhinelander in the WIAA State Meet held in Wisconsin Rapids for the first time. Kuester qualified in the floor after scoring a career-best 8.8 for third overall, while Sturtevant made it on the uneven bars with a score of 8.05, as she tied for fifth place and the last individual spot.
Both Sturtevant and Kuester also just barely missed qualifying for state in several other events. In the all-around Kuester was only 0.15 points away from heading to state with her career best score. She was also only 0.2 points and one position away from qualifying on the beam after finishing sixth with a 7.850. And on the bars, she was just behind teammate Sturtevant and was 0.075 points away from the final position.
While Sturtevant finished with a personal best of an 8.55 on the floor, and finished seventh and was two positions away from state. And on the beam Sturtevant tied for seventh with a 7.800 and also just missed the cutoff. In the all-around she would finish eighth and recorded her career-best of a 32.4.
It also marked the final high school meet for Hodag seniors Makayla Kuester and Alyssa Mitchell. Makayla Kueseter who missed a large portion of her senior season due to injury was scratched from the vault and only competed on the uneven bars where she recorded a 6.825 for 16th. While Mitchell’s only event was the beam, where had two falls and finished 27th with a 6.25.
Sturtevant and Stephanie Kuester will advance and take part in the WIAA Division 2 State individual gymnastic meet on Saturday March, 3rd that will be held in Wisconsin Rapids.
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