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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/23/2013 6:43:54 PM

By Luke Sleeper
John’s Journal Correspondent

A year ago, Austin’s Sela Fadness came close to winning the Class 1A gymnastics all-around title. This time around, the junior made the most of her second chance.

Following up her third-place finish last year, Fadness took home medals in all four events (two gold and two silver), leading to the most coveted medal of all – all-around gold. Heading into the meet, the most well-known gymnasts were Fadness and Melrose junior Jailyn Brinkman.

Brinkman, whose sister Hailey won all-around gold last year, was coming off a sixth-place finish in 2012. It became apparent early on that only one of the pre-meet favorites was going to contend for first, after a rough fall for Brinkman on the uneven parallel bars. The Section 6A champ’s day ultimately ended on the fifth-place all-around podium spot.

The surprise performance of the day came from Alexandria’s Briquelle Bowden. The senior was Fadness’ biggest challenger; she bested the balance beam with a first-place score of 9.6. Bowden also won silver in the uneven bars on her way to a second-place finish in the all-around, trailing first by .625 points at meet’s end. Bowden’s teammate, Hannah Wendel, received one of the loudest ovations of the day for her 9.7875 winning score on the vault.

Rachelle LeBlanc, a junior from Little Falls, took third in the all-around, with her best finish coming on the balance beam, where she took third. The fourth-place medalist was Fadness’ eighth grade Austin teammate, Maddie Mullenbach. Fellow eighth grader Molly Lyngaas of Detroit Lakes finished her all-around meet in sixth place.

Sela Fadness’ championship performance was the epitome of all-around excellence: First-place scores of 9.6 on the uneven bars and 9.675 in floor exercise, complimented by near-gold performances in vault and on the balance beam. She finished with a total score of 38.575.

--Northfield's DuPay Wins 2A Title

Perhaps the coolest scene at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion all weekend took place late Saturday, when everyone in attendance, including the other competitors, stood and applauded Northfield sophomore Bailey DuPay after her incredible 9.9 performance in floor exercise. For the 2013 Class 2A all-around champion, this was her defining moment. DuPay, the bronze medalist in the 2012 competition, won gold on floor and took home medals in the other events

. The other loud roars of the night were for Elk River senior Kaylee Jondahl, after she put up big scores in the floor exercise and her gold medal-winning mark of 9.825 in the vault, displaying crazy athleticism, causing even some in press row to let out a few “ooos” and “ahhs.” Her impressive performances gave her four medals in all, including a bronze in the all-around. If it wasn’t for a couple of mishaps on the beam, Jondahl would have certainly been on Dupay’s heels for all-around gold.

Carly Wagner of Roseville, one of the key cogs in her squad’s team championship on Friday, took the gold medal in the uneven bars, scoring an impressive 9.8. Fairbault’s Erin Olson was fourth in the all-around, thanks to a bronze-medal effort in floor exercise. The all-around silver medalist was Isis Muller of Roseville, who despite not medaling in any event, turned in a very well-rounded performance.

DuPay’s all-around title is even more impressive considering that she also won the 1-meter diving championship last fall at the state swimming meet. Like 1A champ Sela Fadness, DuPay won gold in two events Saturday – the floor exercise and balance beam – and silver in the other two. Her all-around score was 38.8625.


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