Two gold starsSenior Rachel Paulson became River Falls’ first state all-around champion and Amanda Guise became the first Wildcat freshman to win a state title at the WIAA Division 2 Individual State Gymnastics Championships Friday night in Wisconsin Rapids.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
Senior Rachel Paulson became River Falls’ first state all-around champion and Amanda Guise became the first Wildcat freshman to win a state title at the WIAA Division 2 Individual State Gymnastics Championships Friday night in Wisconsin Rapids.
Paulson didn’t win any of the individual events but performed well enough in each to lead all of the 25 all-around competitors with a total score of 36.7.
Guise, meanwhile, followed up her sectional title on the balance beam a week earlier with a first place score of 9.367 to become the first freshman from River Falls ever to win a state gymnastics championship.
“The last two weeks she’s really come on,” Wildcat head coach Shelly Kahut-Loomis said about Guise. “Right from the start of the season I knew that if she pulled everything together she would have a spot on varsity.”
Guise said she surprised herself at the state meet.
“I was really surprised it all came together,” she said. “I was just proud I made it to state. I didn’t expect to place but I ended up winning.”
Guise said her family helped calm her nerves.
“I was nervous at first, but I looked up and saw my family and that calmed me down,” she said. “After that, I was ready to go.”
Paulson finished with an eighth place score of 8.683 on the balance beam while senior Emmy Johnson placed 12th with 8.4.
Paulson’s highest individual finish came in the vault, where she placed second with a score of 9.333. She was joined on the awards stand by teammate Kali Kramolis, who finished third with 9.233. Junior Carly Jerry placed ninth with 8.93 while Johnson tied for 15th with 8.767.
Paulson, Johnson and Jerry all earned medals in the floor exercise. Paulson took third with a score of 9.4 while Johnson was fourth with 9.2 and Jerry fifth with 9.183. Kramolis also competed and finished tied for 16th with a score of 8.617.
Paulson’s fourth medal of the day came on the uneven bars with a third place score of 9.283. Jerry earned her second medal by finishing sixth with 8.783.
Paulson’s all-around title gives her three state individual championships in her career. She also won state titles on the balance beam and uneven bars as a sophomore in 2007, when the Cats won their last state team championship.
After sitting out last season, Paulson said it didn’t take long to get back in the swing of things at the beginning of her senior year.
“I actually felt like I came back stronger,” she said. “I came back fast; one week and I was ready to go. This is a good way to end my senior year. I’m glad I came back.”