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AREA Gymnastics: Flyers' LeBlanc finishes third in 1A state meet

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sports Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

MINNEAPOLIS — Rachelle LeBlanc of Little Falls attained the Flyers’ highest finish in all-around competition when she placed third in the Class 1A state meet Saturday at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion.

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In her third state meet, the junior scored 37.4250 to finish behind champion Sela Fadness of Austin (38.5000) and runner-up Briquelle Bowden of Alexandria (37.9500).

“That was totally unexpected,” LeBlanc said of her all-around podium finish.

She finished third on balance beam (9.55) and fourth on floor (9.55).

“My beam was very awesome,” LeBlanc said. “They had blood on the beam before I went on and competed so my nerves were totally gone. I only had one bobble on my cartwheel, which is the easiest skill in my bar routine.

“It was the best floor routine I’ve competed at state, definitely.”

LeBlanc placed ninth on the uneven bars (9.2) and 20th on vault (9.175).

“My bars went well,” she said. “They set the bars wrong so they were at different lengths for me, but I forgot about that, and bars went well.

“Vault was my weakest event. I had good vaults, it’s just that a lot of girls have better vaults than me. They have more degree of difficulty.”

LeBlanc’s showing was the best by a Flyer since Danielle Atkinson won the bars title with a 9.725 in the 2005 state meet. Atkinson finished sixth in the all-around with a 37.125.

“She had four clean routines and did not waiver or fall on any event,” Flyers co-head coach Shelly LeBlanc said of her daughter’s performance. “Her coaches are very proud of her.”

Class 1A Individual Finals

Vault: 1-Hannah Wendel (Alexandria) 9.7875, 20-Rachelle LeBlanc (Little Falls) 9.1625

Uneven parallel bars: 1-Sela Fadness (Austin) 9.6125, 9-LeBlanc 9.2125

Balance beam: 1-Briquelle Bowden (Alexandria) 9.6125, 3-LeBlanc 9.550

Floor exercise: 1-Fadness 9.6625, 4-LeBlanc 9.500

All-around: 1-Fadness 38.500, 3-LeBlanc 37.4250.

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