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.