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Trojans gym team beats Redwood Valley; Reitmeier secures 200th career win

Jan. 26—WORTHINGTON — A milestone was achieved Thursday night after the Worthington gymnastics team's meet with Redwood Valley.

After the Trojans varsity team won the meet with a score of 139.150, head coach Joni Reitmeier secured the 200th win of her career.

Reitmeier is in her 19th season coaching and she said she doesn't really keep track of her wins and losses. But Roger Geertsema, an assistant on the gym team, had been keeping track of all of Reitmeier's stats. Because of that, Thursday night was the night she was on track to achieve that milestone.

"I don't really keep track of my wins and losses, but Roger, who is like, the best person in the world, he keeps track of all my stats for me. So I mean, I think it's amazing. It's an amazing accomplishment," Reitmeier said. "Some people are like, '200? You've been doing this for 19 years.' But in gymnastics, we only have between 12 and 15 meats a year, so it takes a while to get up to that number. So, I mean, I'm super proud."

"I always tell people I didn't do that, my girls did that. So over all these years, my success has come from having successful gymnasts. So it truly is an honor for me to have number 200, but I want to give them props. They're the ones that go out there and do that."

Along with Reitmeier's accomplishment, Thursday's meet was memorable because it was also senior night for the Trojans.

The four senior gymnasts on the team this season are Olivia Barber, Hali Bullerman, Addison Gerber and Mery Ramos. Along with those four seniors on the team, there's also Haley Thier, the team's manager. After the meet, they were all recognized by their Trojan teammates.

"All of these girls have been part of my gymnastics program since they were itty bitty. Literally, I have coached almost all of them since they were about four years old," Reitmeier said. "So to see them grow right in front of your eyes to become 18 year-old grown women going off to college, certainly, it's hard for me. I always think every year it's gonna get easier but it actually gets harder to say goodbye, but I'm super proud of them. I'm happy that their teammates feel the way they feel about them and we're able to honor them the way that they did."

Before the varsity meet began, Worthington's JV squad scored a 123.75 to better Redwood Valley's score of 112.95. Ava Schutz placed second in the all-around with 30.15, Olivia Bullerman placed third with a 29.9 and Bella Krohn placed fourth with a 28.85.

The first event for the Trojan varsity team was the bars. Redwood Valley's Avery Wilson wound up placing first in the bars with an 8.8. The Trojans took the next three places on the bars, as Bullerman put together a solid performance on the bars to finish second with an 8.675, Gerber finished third with a 7.950 and Brooklyn Dykstra was fourth with a 7.9. Ellie Nelson of Redwood Valley broke that string with a 7.75 to place fifth. Jordis Weber (7.725) and Claire Meyer (7.65) placed sixth and seventh respectively.

The vault was next and that was where Worthington had its highest scores of the night. Gerber was able to land both her attempts at the tsuk and she ended up with a score of 9.4. That is the highest score of her varsity career and was good for first place in the event. Bullerman was about just as impressive as she placed just behind Gerber with a 9.325. Kenadie Thiner also scored really well for Worthington, landing her first attempt to finish with a score of 9.1 Wilson was fourth for Redwood Valley with an 8.975. Dykstra and Marly Phonsatry rounded out the top six for Worthington with an 8.875 and an 8.825 respectively.

Next came the beam and it was the only event that a Trojan didn't win as Wilson scored an 8.875 for Redwood Valley. But overall, it was a solid vault performance from the Trojans as they didn't have as many falls compared to last week's meet against Pipestone.

Gerber and Bullerman tied for second place with scores of 8.7, Dykstra placed third with an 8.25, Thiner placed fourth with an 8.1 and Weber placed fifth with a 7.85.

The final event of the night for Worthington was the floor. It was there where Gerber achieved another career-high score with an impressive 9.575. Bullerman and Dykstra each finished with a score of 9 to tie for second place and Thiner placed third with an 8.875. Wilson was fourth for Redwood Valley with an 8.575. Lucy Thier scored an 8.2 for Worthington for a sixth-place finish.

Despite not winning any individual events, Bullerman once-again won the all-around with a score of 35.7 after placing second in every event. Gerber was narrowly behind Bullerman with a career-high score of 35.625. Wilson was third for the Cardinals with a 35.225 and Dykstra rounded out the top four for Worthington with a 34.025.

"I think (Thursday) went really well. Obviously there's some room for improvement, but that's gymnastics. but I think overall it was really good," Reitmeier said. "We stayed on the balance beam better, so that's an improvement. We landed our vaults, so hey, another improvement. So I think it's just little minor details that we get to work on. We got to clean some things up and get ready for our big meet on Saturday."

The next meet for the Trojans is their biggest of the season so far at the annual State True Team meet.

Every year, the meet features the 10 top teams in Minnesota Class A. This year's participating teams are Becker, Benson, Big Lake, Byron, Mankato East, Melrose, Monticello, New London-Spicer, Perham and Worthington.

The State True Team meet will be Saturday at the Area Learning Center starting at noon. It is the second-straight year Worthington will host the annual event after not hosting the event for 20 years. The event will be livestreamed online on the YouTube channel Worthington ISD518 Events.

Reitmeier said that recent meets along with the past couple weeks of practice has prepared her team pretty well for State True Team.

"They've been going pretty good, except unfortunately, last week Olivia (Barber) got hurt in practice. She was a varsity all rounder for us and she was a senior, so senior varsity all around leader (ia a) big blow to our team," Reitmeier said. "Obviously she's not replaceable, but we also have a lot of talent and I saw that (Thursday). All those girls stepped up into those places and did really really well. So the biggest thing is building their confidence going into a very big meet that some of them are not used to competing in and encouraging them and letting them know that they can do it. And if we stick together as a team and support each other, I think good things will happen."