Five area gymnasts to watch in 2021-22
Once again, there is plenty of gymnastics talent around southeastern Minnesota
• Amber Roble, Byron: The junior is perhaps the top returning gymnast in the area. She was the state runner-up on the balance beam last winter, with a score of 9.375 to help fuel an 11th-place finish in the all-around at last year's Class A state meet. She is the defending Section 1A champion on the beam and has her eyes set on another run for an individual state title.
• Natalya Franz, Winona/Cotter: With the graduation Chloe Hughes, it is Franz who will be the leader for the Winhawks. The junior is a two-time state qualifier, competing on the uneven bars, beam and the vault at last year's Class A state meet. Her best finish at state came on the bars with a score of 8.850, for 14th place. She had won the Section 1A uneven bars title with a score of 9.400. She was also named to the All-Big Nine team.
Nisbit ready to help usher in a new era for PIZM gymnastics The Wildcats graduated a talented senior class that helped guide them to four consecutive state meet appearances, including a runner-up finish last season.
Gymnastics preview: Rochester teams looking forward to a more normal season After virtual practices and split meets because of COVID-19 last season, Century, John Marshall and Mayo are eager for this year.
• Lydia Evans, Byron: She finished seventh in the all-around and in the floor exercise at the Section 1A meet last year, just missing out on qualifying for state in both events. Evans and Roble, along with a deep group of gymnasts, are a big reason why the Bears are contenders for a section title this season.
• Hannah Fritz, Austin: The senior took eighth on the beam at the Section 1A meet with a score of 8.600, helping the Packers finish fourth as a team behind Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa, Winona/Cotter and Byron. She will be a big part in helping the Packers make some noise in Section 1A.
• Emma Klejeski, Kasson-Mantorville/Triton: The junior turned heads last season at times and will be called upon for a continually improving Kasson-Mantorville/Triton program.