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Season full of new routines and events highlight top performances by Piper gymnasts

Cole Mayer, Managing Editor

Rebecca Higgins, Reporter

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Hamline’s women’s gymnastics team does not believe in missed opportunities. As a result they are constantly pushing themselves to compete in new events and routines while expecting nothing less than event wins.

“Sydney [Tribbett’s] vault is brand new this year,” Head Coach Doug Byrnes said. “She decided to give [vault] a try. The hard part when you are inexperienced at vault is finding your landing.”

Junior Sydney Tribbett first showed her vault routine at the Feb. 21 meet against Winona State. Scoring a 9.475 placed Tribbett at the head of the pack with a 0.050 spread over her second place opponent, Winona State first-year Kennedy Utz.

“We adjusted the base of Sydney’s routine by switching her second and third pass around. This made it easier for a more flawless leap jump combination,” Byrnes said. “The second time competing it was against Winona, leading to an event win.”

Tribbett’s floor exercise routine landed her a 9.650, tying Tribett with Winona’s All-Around athlete junior Eboni Jackson. Sydney was not the only Piper to win big against the Warriors. Senior Cate Reynolds won the uneven parallel bars with a score of 9.250.

“Cate is new to competing on the bars this year. She had worked hard with Coach Isaac [Fordyce],” Byrnes said. “It is incredible she won [against the Warriors.]”

On Mar. 26, Hamline finished in third place at the Best of Minnesota Gymnastics Challenge meet at the University of Minnesota. The Pipers beat Gustavus with a total of 185.650 giving them a 1.100 point advantage over the Gusties.

“At the University of Minnesota we had our best competition of the year,” Byrnes said. “It was not our highest score but we established a collective consistency on all four events.”

The lack of consistency on all four events would be the Pipers’ downfall on Mar. 4 against the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The Pipers struggled to compete with the Titans on the balance beam. UW-Oshkosh finished the meet with an overall score of 187.125 compared to the Pipers’ 184.625.

Despite this, Reynolds continued her winning streak, scoring a 9.625 on the vault. She was closely followed by sophomore Rosie Giese with a 9.575, giving the Pipers a .225 advantage for the event.

“We have a new strategy. We are trying to add one tenth to each of our routines. We are being mindful of our feet,”senior Sarah Gardeski said. “If they are apart when they are supposed to be together we will get docked one tenth. By being mindful of our feet, we will add one tenth to each of our routines.”

Being mindful of their feet was not enough to beat the Titans.

A score of 9.250 was a win for Reynolds on the uneven parallel bars against Winona State, but it was not enough to win against the Titans. Reynold’s 9.250 performance landed her third place.

Similarly, against UW-Oshkosh Tribbett’s winning floor exercise received a 9.625, tying her for second place with junior Olivia Kressler. Tribbett’s vault landed ninth place with a 9.450.

The main obstacle for the Pipers was the balance beam. The Titans claimed the top six spots for the beam, leaving nothing for the Pipers.

The beam gave UW-Oshkosh a total event score of 46.925 compared to Hamline’s 43.550. Hamline’s wins in vault, bars and floor did not give the Pipers an advantage over the Titans with their balance beam win.

“We need to trust our routines and know that we are good enough to win,” Gardeski said. “We are doing better than we did last year. This year we are steadily inclining to peak at regionals, which is exactly what we want to do.”

The Pipers finish out their regular season on Mar. 11. Events begin at 4 p.m. in Whitewater, Wisconsin, as the Pipers take on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

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Try, try, try something new