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Raider gymnasts finish season on a high note

Her team's only senior, Madison Hynnek swings on the parallel bars in a meet against North St. Paul earlier in the season. (Star Gazette photo by Alec Hamilton)

The Hastings gymnastics team finished up their season after taking fifth out of seven teams in the Metro East Conference. The team's highest score this year was 123.4 and head coach Jeanne Kasel said her team really worked hard down the stretch at the end of the season.

"The girls worked very hard toward the end of the season, putting new skills into their routines and changing things up when we asked them to," Kasel said. "Gymnastics is a sport with great emphasis on self-satisfaction and not always on the win. When the girls can complete a new skill in their event, it is more gratifying than anyone can imagine. A great score or win is a bonus."

At the MEC varsity conference meet, freshman Rachel Hughes took 10th in the all-around standings. She also barely missed placing in the other events along with junior Emma Fendrick and senior Madison Hynnek.

Hynnek also finished her career at Hastings by being named to the all-conference team for the floor exercise, as well as all-conference honorable mention the vault and beam events. Fendrick was all-conference honorable mention for floor and Hughes received the same distinction for bars.

"This was a huge accomplishment for Hastings as it's been a few years since we have had someone make the all-conference team," Kasel said.

Hastings' junior varsity team finished the season strong as well. They took third at their conference meet and met their goal of breaking 100 points with a score of 109.7. Eighth-grader Madelynn Hayes and sophomore Kailee Greenough finished in the top 10 on vault. Hayes also took third in both beam and floor to finish sixth in the all-around. Greenough just missed the top 10 in the floor exercise while freshman Erica Haas finished just outside the top 10 on beam.

"Our girls slowly climbed the ladder of success as the season progressed," Kasel explained. "We had a full junior varsity beam and vault roster, which is a great thing. We worked hard all season to fill our floor and bar roster, which should not be a problem this fall. We also had two gymnasts, Madi Hayes and Autumn Keller, step up the day before the meet and put bar routines together in order to help the team break 100. They did this not realizing their contribution to the team would put them into third-place as well, so that was a big bonus."

Hynnek is the only senior graduating after this season while the Raiders will return plenty of youth next season, as only four of the girls were sophomores or above.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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