Trojan seniors dominate 2A meet

New Prague High School held its senior gymnastics night on Friday, February 5. The seniors didn't like the result (a loss to Northfield) so they made the most of their last competitive meet at the New Prague Gymnastics Center, the Section 2A championships on Friday, Feb. 19.

The four seniors - Jess Hoffman, Ashley Wagner, Brooke Ellanson and Laura Busch - all qualified for this weekend's state meet and the team won its 11th Section championship in 12 years with a season-high 143 points. Two other Trojans - freshman Sydney Samson and eighth-grader Sarah Hoffman, also qualified for the state meet.

New Prague will take part in the State Class A team competition at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion. Individual competition will be held Saturday, Feb. 27, also at the Pavilion.

The Trojans scored nearly 10 points higher than second place Waconia. Scores were: New Prague (143), Waconia (133.45), Mankato East (132.3), New Ulm (130.025), Blue Earth (129.125), Glencoe-Silver Lake (126.8), Waseca (124.425) and St. Peter (121.625)

The Trojans opened the evening on the uneven bars, where two Trojan seniors set the tone for the night by taking the top two places. Ellanson, who placed third in the event at the state meet as a sophomore, was the only competitor to hit the 9-point mark, scoring 9.025. Wagner was second with an 8.75. The Trojans had all five gymnasts in the top 10, with Christine Simon just missing a state berth with a fifth place finish, junior Josie Mellen eight and Jess Hoffman 10th.

The Trojans top two beam performers claimed the top two spots in the meet. Jess Hoffman, who was third at state as a sophomore in that event, won the competition with a 9.6, while teammate Laura Busch registered a 9.45. Mellen placed fifth and Sarah Hoffman 10th.

New Prague had three of the four qualifiers in the floor exercise. Jess Hoffman led the way with a 9.5, while Wagner was second at 9.05 and Sarah Hoffman was fourth with a 9.0. Laura Busch tied for fifth with an 8.85.

Samson, the Trojans' top vaulter, earned her trip to state with a second place finish on the vault. Jess Hoffman was sixth and Busch was ninth.

Jess Hoffman was New Prague' only all-around competitor, and she took first with a 36.425.

Of the 20 state individual entries, the Trojans had nine, while Waconia and Mankato East had four, Waseca two and Blue Earth one.

Turn to Page 10 for a salute to the Trojan gymnastics team.

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