Royal gymnasts post top score in nearly a decade

Caitlin Duske Katie Heilman Megan McCain
Caitlin Duske

The Watertown-Mayer gymnastics team posted its highest score in years last Thursday, when the Royals defeated Orono 141.2 to 108.9 in a home meet on Jan. 17. 

Watertown-Mayer coach Steve Hangartner said his team hit 17 of its 20 routines, and it showed in the final score.

“We had a great meet,” he said. “It was the first time we have been in the 140s in 8 years. We are really starting to put things together. The girls overall dedication is really starting to show. All their hard work is paying off.”

The Royals finished with the top four scorers on each of the four events, and the top five spots on vault. In that event, Caitlin Duske finished first with a score of 9.525, and Katie Heilman was second at 9.35. Brooke Leaf finished third with a 9.25, Ally Matrella was fourth at 8.9 and Megan McCain was fifth with a score of 8.8.

On the uneven bars, Leaf took first place with a score of 8.225. McCain was second at 7.95, and Heilman was third with a 8.725. Fourth place belonged to Duske with a 7.6.

Leaf also took first place on the balance beam, scoring a 9.15. Second place went to McCain with a 9.075, while Heilman was third with a 9.0. With a score of 8.8, Duske finished in fourth place.

Duske finished first on floor exercise, scoring a 9.525. Leaf was second with a score of 9.35, McCain was third at 9.025 and Scanlon was fourth with an 8.7.

The Royals were also in action at the Glencoe-Silver Lake Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 19. In that meet, where the Royals finished in fifth place out of eight teams, many of the regular varsity gymnasts rested while some of the younger gymnasts got a chance to compete on varsity. Sauk Rapids-Rice won the meet with a score of 134.65 points. Watertown-Mayer was fifth with 123.45 points.

“It was the first time for a lot of the girls to compete in a big meet like this,” Hangartner said. “They did a great job.”

Caitlin Kammerer finished with the Royals’ top all-around score, posting a 31.750. Ella May was next at and Emma Strom was third with a 31.150. Kallie Unowsky scored 28.7 and Elsa Thonn scored a 27.5.

May had the team’s top score on vault with an 8.6, while Unowsky had an 8.5, Kammerer and Strom both had 8.4s and Thonn had an 8.3.

The top score on bars went to Strom with a 7.8, while Kammerer had a 7.75 and May had a 7.2. On floor exercise, May had the top score with a 7.9, while Kammerer had a 7.75 and Unowsky and Strom both had 7.4s. Kammerer’s 7.85 was the team’s best on floor, while May added a 7.6. Strom had a 7.550 and Thonn had a 7.45.

The Royals were also in action Tuesday at Litchfield, and will be back in action Saturday for the True Team State meet at Jackson County Central. Ten teams will be competing, and competition begins at noon.

Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]