Gymnasts win 15th section crown

New Prague High School's gymnastics team finds itself in a familiar place, as they will return to the Minnesota State High School League Class gymnastics meet.

The team won the school's fifth straight championship, 12th in 13 years and 15th overall under Hall of Fame coach Matt Shetka, who has led the Trojans to three state championships in his career.

The state meet will be held at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 25, with team competition. Individual competition will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26.

No. 1 ranked Perham is the seven-time defending state champion and is the favorite to make it eight in a row. The last team other than Perham to win the championship was New Prague in 2003.

The Trojans are No. 4 in the state Class A rankings. Other teams competing at the team competition are No. 2 Becker, No. 3 Melrose, No. 6 Martin County Area, Pine Island, Breck and Delano.

New Prague won the Section 2A title Friday, Feb. 19, at Mankato East High School with a score of 140.675, topping second place Waconia by more than six points.

While the team will compete on Friday, Five Trojans advanced in individual competition and will also perform on Saturday, They are Brianna Ellanson (all around, floor and bars), Sara Hoffman (beam, floor and vault), Christine Simon (floor and bars), Jamie Niedermayer (vault) and Josie Mellin (beam).

Coach Matt Shetka said the team did not perform up to its normal standards and had some low scores, but the team still performed well enough to qualify for state.

Every event seemed to have some trouble

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