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Gymnastics: Davenport, Slayton are state-bound

The Farmington gymnastics team accomplished its goal of being at its best at the end of the season and sending gymnasts to state at Friday’s Section 1AA Championships in Owatonna.

The Tigers broke the school record for the third time this season while placing third out of eight teams with 142.725 points. Fourth-ranked Owatonna won the title on its home turf, while 20th-ranked Rochester Century outperformed its season average by three points to edge Farmington for second place.

“What a perfect way to end a season. We were hoping to beat Owatonna and make it to state as a team, so when we placed third I was praying that the girls wouldn’t let that get them down, and they most definitely didn’t,” Farmington coach Amanda Lund said. “As a coach, that was one of my proudest moments — the girls pulled together and worked so hard a team — they were focused and determined and their excitement was felt throughout the entire gym.”

Two Tiger gymnasts — Amanda Davenport and Lauren Slayton — placed in the top four and will compete at state for the first time Saturday at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion. The duo will perform at state in the uneven bars after tying for third place with scores of 9.475 and Davenport will get to showcase her skills in the vault, beam and floor exercise as well after placing fourth in the all-around with a score of 37.0.

“They are both hoping for personal bests and maybe even placing in the top five,” Lund said. “Both of these gymnasts are two of the most hard working girls on the team, so it is great to see their hard work being rewarded.”

Davenport placed in all four events at the section meet. She was sixth in the balance beam with a score of 8.925, seventh in the vault with a 9.35 and eighth in the floor exercise at 9.25.

Slayton placed eighth in the beam and 10th in the floor exercise, giving her an eighth-place all-around total of 36.525.

Abby Schwartz led the Tigers in two events, but just missed state berths in both. She tied for fourth place in both the floor exercise (9.475) and balance beam (8.975), but lost tiebreakers each event.

“Abby is another one of the most hardest working members of our team, so that was a really heartbreaking night for her and the coaches,” Lund said. “There aren’t many more deserving gymnasts than her, so again, that was a total heartbreaker. I have no doubt she will bounce back from this with even more determination for next season.”

The Tigers’ only other top-10 finish came from Rachel Kiminski, who earned 10th in the uneven bars with a score of 8.6.

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