The Rhinelander High School gymnastics bounced back Thursday after losing one of their top gymnasts early in the meet to defeat Mosinee 108.5-97.6 in a Great Northern Conference Small dual at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium.
The Hodags lost junior Autumn Shafer after a fall on the uneven bars after the first rotation which affected the team score, as she took a zero due to the fall. But RHS came back and had several gymnasts step up and earned the top five spots on the balance beam and four of the five top positions on the floor exercise to win over the Indians.
Junior Lilli Bishop won the all-around with a score of 29.2 points and edged Mosinee freshman Avery Ahles by 0.9 points for the title. Bishop won the floor with a 7.9 and also won the balance beam at 6.75. She was runner-up on the uneven bars at 6.65 and tied fourth on the vault at 7.9.
Rhinelander's Abby Belbot finished third in the overall at 25.3 and marked her first time doing a varsity beam routine and she completed it without a fall with a score of 6.6. Freshman Payton Rudawski placed in the top three in all three of her events; she tied for second on the vault at 8.0 with teammate Shafer, finished second on the beam at 6.7, and placed third on the floor at 7.35.
In their second rotation, RHS competed on the uneven bars where Shafer sustained an injury on her routine. As she was transitioning from the bottom bar to the top bar, Shafer lost her footing and landed on arms and face. After several minutes with Coach Heather Sturtevant and trainer Eric Prom, Shafer was able to get up but did not compete the rest of the meet. The extent of her injury is unknown at this point.
Rhinelander was already slim in the number of gymnast competing on the floor exercise, which include Shafer for four varsity routines. Bridget Koser stepped up for the Hodags, despite just coming back from battling illness and not at 100% and surpassed expectations with one of her best floor routines and finished second with a score of 7.7.
The Hodags advanced to 2-0 in the GNC Small division and will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Wisconsin Rapids for an invite beginning at 11:00AM.