Less than one and a half points separated the Blue Jays from the winner's circle Friday night at Jerry Meyer Arena.

The Jamestown High School gymnastics team wound up in third place in the team competition portion of the 2020-21 state gymnastics meet. The Blue Jays scored 144.4 points while the 2021 state runner-up, Valley City, earned a 145.75. Dickinson earned its sixth consecutive team title posting a 148.5.

The meet will conclude tomorrow with the individual portion of the competition beginning at noon at Jerry Meyer Arena.

"We gave up some points here and there but so did everybody," JHS head coach Dave Tews said. "We weren't at 100% but the kids really performed well. The kids have had some of their best meets the last two weeks and that continued today so we did well."

The Blue Jays' solid performance started out on the uneven bars where the Blue Jays ended up scoring 35 points -- just over two points ahead of where they ended up at last week's West Regional meet.

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"We were below the median last week and we were above it this week," Tews said. "Last week it was just a struggle from start to finish, today the kids did what they are capable of today. It's nice to come out of the gate doing well."

Jamestown's Emma Hillerud performs on the uneven bars Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, during the state gymnastics championships at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Jamestown's Emma Hillerud performs on the uneven bars Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, during the state gymnastics championships at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Sophomore Emma Hillerud took out a skill on bars she added for the West Region meet and refined a few of her skills to put up a score of 8.55. The score happened to be the Jays' lowest of the rotation but Tews commended the sophomore's performance and ability to look forward to the next event.

Which happened to be beam for the Blue Jays.

Hillerud was one of the only Blue Jay competitors who dished out a clean routine on the four-inch apparatus scoring a 9.233 -- the Jays' highest score by 0.133 points.

"I guess I just knew that I had to try my best to stick (the landing) because we needed the score," Hillerud said. "It wasn't our best day on beam but it wasn't our worst."

Hillerud did end up sticking the landing but the Jays only ended up with a 35.633 on the event, a score nearly 1.5 points lower than last week's 37.1 point performance at WDAs. Still, the sophomore did not give up and marched with her head high to the next event.

Haley Nelson and Julia Skari took vault into their own hands posting a 9.383 and a 9.250 to lead the team to a 36.517. Blair Arbuckle stepped wrong on her first vault but she managed to mostly stick the landing of the second for a score of 8.9. Hillerud followed suit sinking to her knees the first time around but landed it her second go-around for a modest 8.983.

The Jays were about three points behind the Midgets in the last rotation but Hillerud said the team was confident going up against the powerful and explosive Dickinson team.

Jamestown's Blair Arbuckle works on her floor routine Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, during the state gymnastics championships at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Jamestown's Blair Arbuckle works on her floor routine Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, during the state gymnastics championships at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

"Having floor last just gives us that boost of confidence," Hillerud said. "We know that floor is one of our best events so ending on the floor just lets us know that we still have a chance to make up some of the points we may have lost on some of the other events."

The sophomore landed every one of her passes to contribute a 9.533 to the team score helping to push the Blue Jays back into podium position.

"Emma -- holy smokes has she had a couple of good weeks," Tews said. "Today she did really well."

The last couple of rotations was when Valley City reared its head. The Hi-Liners tied the Blue Jays' score on beam but beat out the Blue Jays on floor, tumbling to a 37.717 compared to the Jays 37.25. Bismarck Legacy also beat the Jays on floor earning a 37.467.

"I know we all tried our best," Hillerud said. "We didn't end up the way we wanted to but we brought our all so that is all that matters. I hope all of my teammates do good tomorrow and I guess if I do good - it's whatever, I don't really care about tomorrow, I care more about team day."

2020-21 State Gymnastics Meet

At Jamestown High School

Team results

1. Dickinson 148.5; 2. Valley City 145.75; 3. Jamestown 144.40; 4. Bismarck Legacy 144.017; 5. Grand Forks 134.783; 6. Bismarck Century 131.583; 7. Mandan 128.283; 8. Wahpeton/Breckenridge 125.783.

Vault: 1. Dickinson 37.517; 2. Valley City 36.733; 3. Jamestown 36.517; 4. Legacy 35.783; 5. Grand Forks 34.767; 6. Century 33.983; 7. Mandan 34.2; 8. Wahpeton/Breckenridge 34.133.

Beam: 1. Dickinson 37.083; 2. Valley City 35.633; T2. Jamestown 35.633; 4. Legacy 35.417; 5. Grand Forks 32.917; 6. Century 33.35; 7. Mandan 31.567; 8. Wahpeton/Breckenridge 29.683.

Floor: 1. Dickinson 38.017; 2. Valley City 37.717; 3. Legacy 37.467; 4. Jamestown 37.25; 5. Grand Forks 35.967; 6. Century 33.867; 7. Mandan 33.417; 8. Wahpeton/Breckenridge 32.517.

Bars: 1. Dickinson 35.883; 2. Valley City 35.667; 3. Legacy 35.35; 4. Jamestown 35.0; ; 5. Grand Forks 31.133; 6. Century 30.383; 7. Mandan 29.1; 8. Wahpeton/Breckenridge 29.45.

Blue Jay results

Vault : Haley Nelson 9.383; Julia Skari 9.25; Hillerud 8.983; Brenna Hatch 8.9; Blair Arbuckle 8.833; Sydney Fisher 8.65.

Beam: Hillerud 9.233; Nelson 9.1; Lydia Stoterau 8.65; Hatch 8.65; Annabelle Cramer 8.417.

Floor: Hillerud 9.533; Nelson 9.367; Skari 9.183; Fisher 9.167; Hatch 9.117, Arbuckle 8.9.

Bars: Nelson 9.033; Skari 8.783; Arbuckle 8.633; Hillerud 8.55; Hatch 8.167; Stoterau 8.017.