The Menomonie gymnastics team capped the season on a high note with many strong performances at a Division 2 sectional hosted by Onalaska on Thursday.
Melody Greenwood finished 11th all-around to lead the Mustangs with a score of 33.675, led by tying for ninth place in the vault (8.65). Greenwood also tied for 11th in the uneven bars (8), tied for 14th in the floor exercise and was 15th on the balance beam (8.325).
“Melody Greenwood, senior, had a great meet, although it did not land her in the top five qualifying for state, she accomplished a season high on vault, a beam routine with only a single fall, and included a new skill on floor, a skill she has been working on for her 4 years on the team,” Menomonie coach Erin Liljedahl said. “To finish her senior year, overcoming fear and putting every skill she has out there, I am just proud of her for that. We knew this could be a risk, but with 10 teams, rather than the usual eight, we knew a risk was likely what she needed for a return to state.”
Alexis Anderson came home seventh on the beam with a score of 8.8, tied for 11th in the floor exercise (8.775), tied for 21st on the vault (8.25) and was 32nd on the uneven bars (6.8) to help her finish 16th all-around (32.625).
“Junior Alexis Anderson had an amazing competition,” Liljedahl said. “This season Alexis has set aside her own personal fears for the benefit of the team and this has paid off with consistent improvement of her score and many personal records. Sectionals was no different where she scored high on the balance beam, even with a fall, and had a personal record on the floor exercise.”
Chloe Oehler had the best finish for the Mustangs on the vault by taking eighth (8.7) to go with a 21st-place finish on the uneven bars (7.3) and a 37th-place finish on the balance beam (6.7).
“Senior Chloe Oehler finished off her career with the best vaults of her season,” Liljedahl said. “Chloe has been an integral part of this team for four years, and has been a teammate even longer to many of these girls, it was fun to watch her smile and style on the balance beam one more time.”
Delaney Untz was 17th all-around (32.075) with her best event performance coming on the uneven bars where she took 15th (7.65). Untz was also 18th on the balance beam (8.1), 20th in the floor exercise (8.325) and 31st on the vault (8.0).
“Freshmen Delaney Untz had a fantastic first sectional meet, she performs well under pressure and will likely be a leader of this team in the future, so having a year of sectionals under her belt will be very beneficial to the teams future,” Liljedahl said.
Amelia Anderson finished 32nd all-around (25) after finishing tied for 35th on the balance beam (6.75), tied for 41st on the vault (7.35) and floor exercise (6.65) and was 47th on the uneven bars (4.25).
“Amelia Anderson, another freshman worked hard the last few weeks of practice to add new skills into her routines in order to up the difficulty,” Liljedahl said.
Halle Buhr finished 46th in the floor exercise (5.7).
“Halle Buhr, junior, was part of the lineup for floor exercise, this season Halle has had to persevere through some tough obstacles and she continued to show up to the gym and get to work,” Liljedahl said. “On floor Halle knew she needed a increase her difficulty, so last week she worked on a new pass and was able to compete it this weekend.”
Menomonie was fifth as a team with 127.775 points as River Falls (140.9) and Sparta (136.225) taking first and second, respectively.
“As a team I am proud of what these girls accomplished at sectionals,” Liljedahl said. “Throughout this season each girl on the sectional team had their chance to step up and take risks or conquer a fear in order for our team to be the best we could.”
River Falls 65, Menomonie 53
At River Falls, the Wildcats pulled away for a Division 1 regional semifinal win over the Mustangs.
Brock Thornton scored 26 points for Menomonie (11-11), followed by 12 points by Logan Hollinger.
Zac Johnson led all scorers with 28 points for the Wildcats, who went on to defeat Hudson 66-61 on Saturday for the regional title.
Saint Croix Falls 63, Elk Mound 48
At Saint Croix Falls, the Mounders fell to the Saints in a Division 3 regional semifinal matchup.
Ben Heath scored 11 points for Elk Mound (15-9), followed by nine from Ryan Bohl and Ryan Bartig and eight points from Kaden Russo.
Jared Lessman led all scorers with 25 points for the Saints, who went on to fall to Saint Croix Central 79-39 in the regional finals.
“Really gonna miss this group of kids,” Elk Mound coach Michael Kessler said. “Our seniors did a tremendous job all season with their leadership, energy and enthusiasm. Those eight seniors were tremendous to work with each day of the past few seasons. They set a great example for how things need to be done when it comes to preparing for competition. These guys did a great job of welcoming and mentoring our younger players and the camaraderie between all of the guys on our roster was outstanding. It was a pleasure to coach this group. We wish our seniors the best of luck in their future endeavors, and know that they will accomplish great things.”