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Nelson leads Blue Jays in Aberdeen

Jamestown High School's Haley Nelson picked up victories on vault, bars and in the all-around Thursday, Nov. 29, in Aberdeen, S.D., and Blue Jay gymnastics coach Dave Tews nailed his preseason prognostication.

Tews previously explained the Jays were probably shooting for a team score of 130 to open high school competition south of the border against Aberdeen Central. Jamestown turned in a 130.50 to Aberdeen's 130.75.

"The kids were mad at me when I said that," Tews said of his prediction. "But I did the math and it's not real hard to figure out. You take where all the returners finished at last year, hope that's where they at least end up, and that's where you're at."

But there's room for growth following night 1. Jamestown, which is both young and light on varsity numbers, has some junior varsity athletes who could start filling some gaps soon.

"The big picture, we've got a lot of JV and middle school kids who if they get consistent enough on the right events we can pick up another four points," Tews said. "So we still have to get that all sorted and figured out. But we got 130 using our returning senior-high kids tonight and we're happy with that."

Nelson, a freshman, scored a 35.45 to capture the all-around, and was followed by sophomore Rachel Schiele in third (32.70) and junior Courtney Mack in sixth (31.3). Nelson soared into the 9s en route to winning the vault (9.1) and the uneven bars (9.05). She also claimed second on both beam (8.35) and in the floor exercise (8.95).

Schiele came in second on bars (8.9) and third on floor (8.9). Mack scored an 8.1 on beam to capture fourth in the event.

"Those three that placed in the all-around for us came out and did pretty good," Tews said. "Haley could have easily won the floor, too, with her normal routine that you see everyday in practice. But overall she came out and did a pretty darn nice job right away."

Jamestown's season continues with an invitational meet Dec. 7 in Dickinson.

Aberdeen 130.750, Jamestown 130.50

Blue Jay results

All-around: 1. Haley Nelson 35.45; 3. Rachel Schiele 32.7; 6. Courtney Mack 31.3.

Vault: 1. Nelson 9.1; 6. (tie) Schiele 8.4; Mack 8.4; 8. (tie) Ryann Guscette 8.2; Annabelle Cramer 8.2. 12. Sadie Meissner 7.75.

Beam: 2. Nelson 8.35; 4. Mack 8.1; 8. Meissner 7.2; 10. Schiele 6.5; 11. Blair Arbuckle 5.05.

Bars: 1. Nelson 9.05; 2. Schiele 8.9; 4. (tie) Emma Hillerud 7.45; 6. Arbuckle 7.35; 8. Mack 7.0; 10. Allysah Larson 6.5; 11. Guscette 6.2.

Floor exercise: 2. Nelson 8.95; 3. Schiele 8.9; 6. Guscette 7.85.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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