2011-12 Winter Preview: Woodbury gymnastics team has ‘big shoes to fill’This winter, the Royals will be turning to a number of returning gymnasts with the loss of 2011 grads Jenna Kilgore and Vanessa Gubbels.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
Last year, the Woodbury gymnastics team’s season came to an end with a sixth-place finish at the Section 3AA Championship at Park High School.
Led by seniors Jenna Kilgore and Vanessa Gubbels, the Royals scored a 135.425 at the section meet, but were unable to send an individual to last year’s state meet.
Kilgore had the highest placing for Woodbury in the meet, earning sixth place in the all-around competition with a 36.850 score. Kilgore finished in sixth-place in the vault (9.375), seventh place in the floor exercise (9.5), eighth place on the bars (9.0) and in ninth place in the beam (8.975) — medaling in every event. Gubbels had her top score in the floor (9.150) and earned an 8.475 on the beam, an 8.425 in the vault and an 8.2 on the bars.
The Royals will be turning to a number of returning gymnasts with the loss of Kilgore and Gubbels.
“Those will be big shoes to fill,” Woodbury head coach Julie Dornseif said.
Key returning gymnasts this season include: Maddy Haut, Rose Peterson, Jordan Rodriguez, Megan George and Shriya Raje. Raje, a senior, is the team captain.
Rodriguez, a junior, had the Royals’ second-best finish in the vault (8.850) and third-best finish in the floor (8.9), on the bars (7.9) and on the beam (7.725), behind Kilgore and Gubbels, respectively, at last year’s section meet. Additionally, Haut – also a junior - had her best score in the floor with an 8.050 and Peterson, a sophomore, scored an 8.4 in the vault at sections.
Woodbury has 25 gymnasts this season compared to 12 last year.
“We’re a very young team so we hope to just go out and learn new skills, stay injury free and build that team in the next couple of years,” Dornseif said. “We have only one senior, our captain Shriya Raje. Our team is working really hard and we look forward to the upcoming season. I’m excited to be working with three new coaching staff, Dave Mateo, Elizabeth Sampson and Betty Witte.”
In the Suburban East Conference, Park, Roseville and East Ridge will likely be the teams to beat.
In the section, defending champion Park is expected to be the top returning team, along with Farmington, East Ridge and Eagan.