The Rhinelander High School gymnastics team would close out their 2016-2017 season finishing in sixth place out of eight teams, at the WIAA Division 2 sectional on Thursday held at the Sheldon Fieldhouse in Antigo. Once again, the Hodags were battling with limited roster after losing three of their top all-around gymnasts.
Once again Rhinelander was without Stephanie Kuester and Alyssa Mitchell, and for Thursday added Harlie Zimmermann to the injured list. Despite the obstacles, RHS still pushed through and finished the third-best in the Great Northern Conference small division with 108.05 points, finishing ahead of Chequamegon and Mosinee.
Ashland (135.575) and Antigo (128.575) were the top two teams to finish on the day and earned their team tickets to the WIAA State Tournament for next weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Along with Antigo and Ashland, Rice Like also earned some individual qualifying spots.
The top five in each individual event as well as in the all-around qualified for state, in which Rhinelander only had one gymnast finish an individual top-10. Junior Makayla Kuester finished in 10th on the uneven bars at 6.85.
And the Hodags' top all-around finisher was sophomore Raven Sturtevant who finished in 11th place with a total score of 29.5. Sturtevant and Kuester tied on the floor for 12th place at 7.85. And RHS's top balance beam finish was Sturtevant in 15th at 7.6. Kuester had the top Rhinelander spot on the vault, in 15th at 8.25.
Rhinelander only had four gymnasts compete on the uneven bars, which reflected in their score of 20.55, which was their lowest event score on the day. The Hodags top team finish came on the vault, where they scored 31.30. They ended the day with the floor exercise, and had a strong showing with a score of 28.525.
The RHS gymnastic team despite injuries and illness were able to give some underclassman some valuable varsity experience which will only benefit the team in years to come. The Hodags with their season over, will focus on getting their gymnasts healthy and are already looking forward to getting everyone back for next season.
The Rhinelander High School gymnastic team struggled to field a full lineup yet again on Saturday, but still had several top individual finishes on the day as they competed at Antigo Invitational. The Hodags placed fifth out of six teams on the day at Sheldon Fieldhouse.
All five the Great Northern Conference small schools competed in the White Division, with a total of 12 teams total. Medford led won the small division with 115.2 points. The Raiders currently sit at 3-0 in the conference.
Rhinelander was without the Kuester sisters (Stephanie and Makayla), Mikayla Evenstad and Emily Radke with the majority being out due to illness. Due to the limited lineup RHS was short in three events on the day, but still managed to finish with 89.5 points.
Raven Sturtevant had a consistent day for the Hodags and would have two podium finishes on the day as well as the individual all-around. Rhinelander also had three gymnasts chart top-five finishes on the floor exercise on the day.
Sturtevant’s top finish of the day came on the uneven bars, where she placed second with a 6.8. She also took third in the floor exercise(7.95), which was enough for third in the individual all-around at 29.85.
Alyssa Mitchell finished eighth in the all-around with a score of 27.05 which was highlighted by a fourth-place finish in the floor exercise with a score of 7.65. Harlie Zimmermann also finished in fifth for the Hodags in the floor exercise.
Rhinelander still remains at 2-0 in the Small Division battle, and they are hoping to have a full lineup back in action before they head into the conference meet.
The Hodags will be on the road Tuesday to take on Medford, and will be a battle between the top-two teams in the Small Division. RHS is hoping to have more gymnasts healthy and ready to compete in the GNC small division dual.
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