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Blue Jays place second at WDA

Jamestown gymnasts cheer on a teammate competing on floor during the annual throwback meet Feb. 8 at the Jamestown Gymnastics Club. The JHS athletes wore leotards that spanned several decades. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Veteran high school gymnastics coach Dave Tews said Jamestown was a tad less than inspiring while warming up for Friday's West Region meet in Minot.

But that's also when the judges are busy sharpening their pencils.

The Blue Jays pulled it all together when it mattered, capturing second place behind three-time defending state champion Dickinson. The Jays vaulted and tumbled their way to a team score of 139.925, while Dickinson won its 20th WDA meet with a top mark of 147.300.

"The way we looked in warmups I'd say we'd have finished 8 of 7 teams," quipped the affable Tews. "But we did really well and ended up beating (Bismarck) Legacy again, and that's twice now."

The Blue Jays snuck past the Sabers, who nipped at Jamestown's heels with a 138.975, for second. JHS freshman Haley Nelson was crowned West Region bars champion with a winning mark of 9.35, her best score of the season in the event.

"We beat them (Legacy) by about a point, and I guess in gymnastics sometimes that can be quite a bit," Tews said. "We had one region champion with Haley winning bars, and in the all-around Rachel Schiele was third (36.40) and Haley fifth (36.00).

Schiele, a sophomore, placed third on bars (9.05), third on floor (9.375) and led the Jays during a tough night on beam, placing seventh with a 9.0. Jamestown eighth-grader Emma Hillerud turned in a 14th-place finish in the all-around (33.60), with fellow eighth-grader Brenna Hatch close behind in 15th (33.10).

Hatch was 13th on beam (8.725) and Hillerud was 13th on bars (8.1).

"I'm definitely happy with (139.925). If we can do that again next week we'll be sitting good," Tews said. "Some of our top dogs had falls on beam today and they normally don't, but you can look at it the other way and we had kids who stuck things on events that the normally don't, and that's what you need."

Jamestown hosts the state gymnastics competition for a second straight year beginning Friday, Feb. 22, at Jerry Meyer Arena.

"Overall, from top to bottom, the kids did well," Tews said.

West Region Gymnastics Meet

At Minot

Team results

1. Dickinson 147.300; 2. Jamestown 139.925; 3. Bismarck Legacy 138.975; 4. Bismarck 132.725; 5. Bismarck Century 124.550; 6. Mandan 121.875; 7. Minot 67.275.

Winners and Blue Jay results

Vault: 1. Ayanna Fossum, D, 9.625; 8. (tie) Haley Nelson, J, 9.05; 10. Rachel Schiele, J, 8.975; 14. Ryann Guscette, J, 8.85; 16. Brenna Hatch, J, 8.8; 17. Anabelle Cramer, J, 8.725; 19. Courtney Mack, J, 8.650; 22. Emma Hillerud, J, 8.6.

Bars: 1. Nelson, J, 9.35; 3. Schiele, J, 9.05; 13. Hillerud, J, 8.1; 22. Allysah Larson, J, 7.2; 23. (tie) Mack, J, 7.175.

Beam: 1. Addison Fitterer, D, 9.475; 7. Schiele, J, 9.00; 13. Hatch, J, 8.725; 16. Mack, J, 8.55; 18. Hillerud, J, 8.275; 19. Nelson, J, 8.25.

Floor: 1. Bella Price, Minot, 9.6; 3. Schiele, J, 9.375; 4. Nelson, J, 9.35; 15. (tie) Hatch, J, 8.65; 18. (tie) Hillerud, J, 8.625; 22. Cramer, J, 8.325.

All-around: 1. Fossum, D, 37.675; 3. Schiele, J, 36.40; 5. Nelson, J, 36.00; 14. Hillerud, J, 33.60; 15. Hatch, J, 33.10; 19. Mack, J, 32.20.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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