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Gymnastics: Anderson clinches spot at state meet

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sports Red Wing, 55066
Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

For the first time in five years, Red Wing will be bringing a gymnast to state.

In Saturday’s Section 1A championship meet in Inver Grove Heights, junior Irina Anderson scored a 9.15 in the vault, good for fourth place and a berth in the state championship meet. Anderson becomes the first Winger to qualify for state since Anna Hennessy in 2009. 

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At the end of the meet, the excitement was building for the Wingers as they tried to determine if Anderson would be heading to Minneapolis. 

“When they were announcing the vault score, our girls were figuring out that Irina was going to state. They were buzzing in the stands about how much of a big deal we were making about one gymnast making it to state,” said Wingers’ co-head coach Lisa Hanson. “That talks about the quality of girls we have on this team. 

“We’re extending our season a week longer than usual, and we’re very excited about that.”

Anderson will take to the vault during the individual portion of the state gymnastics meet at 11 a.m. Saturday at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion. 

As a team, Red Wing saved its best for the final meet with a season-best score of 128.775, good for a fifth-place finish. Austin was the section champion with a score of 149.225, followed by Byron/Rochester Lourdes (137.6), Pine Island (135.25) and Simley (131.325).

“We just cannot express how well those girls have done all season,” Hanson said after the meet. “They were just singing right now (on the bus) about how they’re a family.”

Led by Jordan Munson’s score of 8.75, the Wingers put up a team score of 32.975 in the floor exercise, a season best. On the balance beam, Carlie Sandstrom (8.425) and Mackenzie Irwin (8.25) put up season bests, and Anderson placed sixth in the uneven bars with an 8.425. As a team, Red Wing scored 29.325 on the bars.

Following Anderson’s state-qualifying score in the vault, teammate Morgan Hughes came up with an 8.35 in her vault.

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