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Sommerland stands alone

Park junior Brenna Sommerland begins her state-winning routine on the balance beam Saturday at the state gymnastics meet. Sommerland was awarded a score of 9.650 in the event to win the Class AA balance beam championship. John Molene / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Park junior Mandy Hafner works the uneven bars Saturday in the Minnesota state gymnastics meet. Hafner scored a 9.575 to finish seventh in the event. John Molene / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Cassie Kahrer of the East Ridge Raptors flies on the uneven bars Saturday night in the state gymnastics meet. Kahrer finished fifth in the state in the event with a score of 9.6125. John Molene / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

MINNEAPOLIS — Fourth in the section meet a week ago, Park junior Brenna Sommerland was first in the state Saturday night.

Sommerland won a Class AA girls gymnastics championship on the balance beam Saturday night in the MSHSL state meet at Maturi Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus. Sommerland wowed the beam judges, scoring a 9.7, two 9.65s, and a 9.6 for a 9.65 final score.

"I think I'm pretty confident in what I went out and did today," said Sommerland. "I'm happy about it."

"I didn't really think about it (winning a state title) until last night," Sommerland admitted. "And then at practice I really worked hard and came out and did my best. I was confident when I went out there and really focused on my landings. I was hoping to get on the podium, but I didn't think the top of the podium."

Park head coach Ali Flaata wasn't surprised by Sommerland's efforts Saturday.

"Right from when she walked in the gym this fall we knew she could be a state beam champion," said Flaata.

"You just never know what's going to happen, especially on an event like the beam," Flaata continued. "So, she's had a great season but today was definitely her best routine. And we threw in some different skills today, too, so I think it put her right over the top."

East Ridge junior Cassie Kahrer and Park junior Mandy Hafner also had top finishes Saturday in the individual meet, while the East Ridge team finished fifth in the Class AA team competition Friday.

Kahrer was fifth on the unbalance bars with a score of 9.6125. Kahrer also finished 16th in the all-around with a score of 37.075. Kahrer had top scores on the vault (9.545), bars (9.625) and floor (9.450) but slipped on the balance beam and ended up with an 8.425 in that event.

Hafner was seventh on the bars with a score of 9.575.

In the vault, Kahrer placed ninth with a score of 9.5125, East Ridge eighth grader Hailey Tretter was 25th with a score of 9.375.

In the floor exercise, Kahrer finished 15th with a score of 9.4875. East Ridge senior Alyssa Chandler was 27th with a score of 9.35 and Tretter was 34th with a 9.2.

"It was a lot of fun," said Chandler. "It was hard knowing it was my last floor routine ever but I just knew that I had to have the most fun that I could out there."

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