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2013-14 Winter Preview: East Ridge gymnastics team brings back Joiner, Trollen to lead way

Megan Trollen is back with the Raptors gymnastics team this winter. (Bulletin file photos)

A year ago, the East Ridge gymnastics team finished fifth in the conference and in the section, but failed to send a gymnast to the state meet for the first time in the school’s four-year history.

Two years ago, 2012 graduate Leah Robinette won the vault state championship crown and competed in the state all-around contest, while Megan Trollen earned a trip to state in the beam as an eighth grader. 

Last year, however, the Raptors were shutout for the first time.

Trollen took fifth place on the bars with an 8.95, placed fifth in the floor exercise with a 9.5 and was sixth in the all-around with a 35.875. East Ridge placed fifth as a team with a 137.6. Park won the team title, topping second-place Rosemount to earn a trip to the state meet. 

In the offseason East Ridge had to say goodbye to 2013 graduate Jamila Joiner, who was a motivational captain and strong vault and floor competitor. However, the team welcomes back her younger sister Karina Joiner, who will act as a team co-captain along with Trollen, who is also back to help lead the Raptors. Other gymnasts to watch include newcomers Taryn Johnson and Wren Anderson.

“We have a very small team this year with lots of new faces,” said Brittany Morris, who is entering her third year as the Raptors head coach. “I’m excited to see what we are capable of accomplishing this year. Our main goal is just keeping everyone healthy. If we can do that, everything else is a bonus.”

Morris said she believed perennial powers Roseville and Park would be the teams to beat in the section, while Park and Rosemount would again be the toughest competition in the section. 

The season begins Dec. 5 at home against Roseville.

—Patrick Johnson

Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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