CHAMPLIN PARK -- Sawyer Gorman took advantage of her chance at redemption.
It had been five years since she came home from a state gymnastics meet with a medal around her neck.
The Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa senior closed her stellar career by winning an individual state championship last weekend in the floor exercise. Gorman posted a winning score of 9.65 for her first state title and her first state medal (top-six finish) since she was in seventh grade.
“Honestly I never would have thought that I would have won a state title, but I think floor is my best event and I think I’ve worked really hard on it throughout the years,” Gorman said. “It’s definitely very rewarding and the best possible way I could have ended my career.”
Gorman had placed sixth in the Section 1A meet on floor. She had an early fall which resulted in a lower-than-usual score for her.
“It really made me happy that I made my last floor routine at state (special),” she said. “And I came back from that (section) routine.”
Gorman also helped the Wildcats have their top ever team finish at state. PIZM placed second out of eight teams in Class A. The Wildcats, ranked second in the state, put up a score of 146.025 to narrowly finish as the team runner-up.
“It was definitely very exciting,” Gorman said. “We placed second and got a medal and that’s what we wanted, to have fun and get on the podium and we did that.”
Top-ranked Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka won the team state championship as it just bested PIZM with a score of 146.35.
Gorman was competing in her sixth straight state meet. Aside from her state title, she also placed third in the all-around with a score of 37.175, one spot ahead of teammate Jaci Newman. Newman, a senior, placed fourth in the all-around with a score of 36.85.
Gorman also earned a medal by placing fourth in the vault with a score of 9.575.
Newman earned individual medals in both the balance beam and floor exercise. She was third on the beam with a score of 9.275 and fifth in floor with a 9.45 score.
Senior McKenzie Cordes medaled in the beam for PIZM as she was fifth with a 9.25 score.
“Definitely a really great way to end our career,” Gorman said. “And a lot of us placed individually which was really awesome, too. Because doing that your senior year is just awesome because we’ve worked so hard. It’s just insane, I can’t believe it.”
Byron sophomore Amber Roble was the state runner-up in the beam as she posted a score of 9.375. Roble placed 11th in the all-around.
“I’m very proud of our team and I think our hard work this season showed,” Gorman said. “I think it was my favorite meet of the year. We had so much fun and got to cheer on teams we don’t normally see.”
Gorman was thankful for the support of the PIZM coaches, parents and community.
“We would not be where we are without the community’s support,” she said. “It really does make a big difference and really pushes us to do well.”