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Raider trio caps season at state meet

Raider gymnasts McKenna Daulton and Olivia Dunlap, in front, and Amanda Baker, back, represented Hudson at the WIAA Division 1 State Gymnastics Championships in Wisconsin Rapids last Friday. Submitted photo

Raider senior Amanda Baker wrapped up her high school gymnastics career with her third straight trip to the WIAA State Championships while sophomores Olivia Dunlap and McKenna Daulton both made their first appearances at state last Friday night in Wisconsin Rapids.

Baker and Dunlap finished 24th and 25th, respectively, in the al-around competition while Daulton placed 26th in the vault.

"The three of them know that they should feel honored by being able to compete in the state meet, not only being on the competition floor, but they themselves are the top 25 athletes from around the state," Raider coach Silvia Rosales said." I am so proud of them this year and have really high hopes for McKenna and Olivia, who have two more years ahead of them."

Baker competed in the state all-around for the second straight year and finished 24th with a score of 32.567. She also qualified on the balance beam and finished 25th with a score of 7.7. She scored 8.667 in the floor exercise and 7.933 on the uneven bars to round out her all-around score.

"Amanda made a few uncharacteristic mistakes on beam and bars, which made for a slight disadvantage in the meet," Rosales said about the senior, who plans to attend UW-Eau Claire next year and continue her diving career. "As her coach I know that she was a little frustrated with her performance because she knows that she can perform better and hit her routines, but she has such a great attitude when it comes to mistakes in meets.

"It seemed to me as her coach, it didn't really hit her on an emotional level that this was her last meet ever," Rosales added. "She reflected on it a little bit later, but she came and did what she wanted to do and did it to the best of her ability, so she is content with her performance overall."

Dunlap finished right behind Baker in the all-around with a score of 32.516. She had her highest score in the floor exercise, where she finished with an 8.233. She also scored 8.167 in the vault, 8.083 on the balance beam and 8.033 on the uneven bars.

Daulton scored 8.35 in the vault to finish 26th in her lone event at state.

Rosales said the state meet experience was eye-opening for the two Raider sophomores.

"McKenna had mentioned that she has never performed in front of a crowd that big before, which made it a little more nerve racking for her," the coach said. "But the overall experience for the both of them, who are new to the high school gymnastics format, was a good learning experience."

Rosales said both Dunlap and Daulton, who come from USA Gymnastics backgrounds, gained valuable experience in their first trip to state.

"They train with the hopes of possibly being able to pursue college gymnastics, so this meet gave them new goals and things to focus on in their own gymnastics as they head into the post season," she said.

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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