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Three gymnasts earn state trip

Sophomore McKenna Daulton scored an 8.7 in the vault at last Saturday's sectional meet to earn a trip to this Saturday's state tournament in Wisconsin Rapids. Photo by Bob Burrows1 / 3
Raider senior Amanda Baker performs on the uneven bars at the Hudson Invitational earlier this season. Baker finished fourth in the all-around competition at last Saturday's sectional meet in Stevens Point to qualify for her third WIAA State Gymnastics Tournament. Photo by Bob Burrows2 / 3
Sophomore Olivia Dunlap finished fifth in the all-around at last Saturday's sectional meet and will compete in her first WIAA State Gymnastics Tournament this Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids. Photo by Bob Burrows3 / 3

Senior Amanda Baker, and sophomores Olivia Dunlap and McKenna Daulton, will represent Hudson at the 42nd WIAA Individual State Gymnastics Championships this Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids.

Baker and Dunlap finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the all-around competition at last Saturday's sectional meet in Stevens Point while Daulton tied for third in the vault. Baker also place fourth on the balance beam.

The top five scores in each event at the sectional meet qualified for this Saturday's individual state competition.

The Raiders just missed advancing to state as a team, coming in third at the sectional meet with a team score of 131.35. Only the top two teams -- Stevens Point with 136.375 and Eau Claire Memorial/North with 135.425 -- qualify for Friday night's state team competition.

Raider coach Silvia Rosales said judging at the sectional meet was a little stricter than the regular season, but her girls responded well to the challenge.

"The girls did an awesome job," Rosales said. "All of the girls put their strongest efforts into each event, despite the tougher judging, but it all came together in the end. We had a couple of slight misses on each event which would have potentially closed the gap for us possibly making it to state as a team this year."

Baker qualified for state on the balance beam with a fourth place score of 8.625 while advancing in the all-around with a total score of 33.425. In addition to her balance beam score, Baker finished sixth in the floor exercise with an 8.7 and added scores of 8.2 in the vault and 7.9 on the uneven bars.

Dunlap also earned a spot at state as an all-around competitor with a fifth place score of 33.4. Dunlap's high score came on the floor where she earned an 8.625. She also scored 8.575 on the balance beam, 8.5 in the vault and 7.7 on the uneven bars.

Daulton led the Raiders in the vault with a score of 8.7, tying her for third place and earning a berth in the state tourney field.

Sophomore Maddy Rohde came within three-tenths of a point of qualifying for state on the uneven bars with a team-high score of 7.95. The fifth and final qualifying score was 8.225.

Senior Kirstin Strom also came up just shy of qualifying for state in the vault with a score of 8.4, just three-tenths of a point behind teammate and state qualifier Daulton.

The Raiders' highest team score of the day came in the floor exercise, where in addition to Baker's 8.7 and Dunlap's 8.625, Daulton added a score of 8.525, junior Brooke Miller scored 8.15 and Strom scored 7.55 to give Hudson a team total of 34.0.

Rosales said Miller also posted a solid score of 7.625 on the beam to help the Raiders in that event.

The WIAA Individual State Gymnastics Tournament gets underway with the march-in ceremony at 10:40 a.m. this Saturday, March 3, at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School. Competition is set to begin at 11 a.m.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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