Old hat for Neu
Already in her fourth year as a high school gymnast, sophomore Chaney Neu of Champlin Park will be shooting for her third consecutive Class 2A all-around title. She finished third as a seventh-grader before taking top honors in 2017 and 2018. "Chaney looks great. She's added difficulty and variation of difficulty on every event," Rebels coach Jon Wynia wrote in the team's season preview. Neu has a chance to become the only five-time all-around winner in state history.
High expectations at Stillwater
The 2017-18 season could hardly have had a more chaotic beginning — and more satisfying conclusion — for Stillwater. It began with head coach Tracy Swenson leaving the program and being replaced with two assistants, Dusty Dennis and Joan Ledson. It ended with the Ponies winning their first state team championship. Most of the Ponies' key contributors are back, led by senior all-arounders Gretchen Sharp and Isabel Bartosh, along with veterans Sami Chang, Peyton Classen and Ellie Hammes. And this year, far less uncertainty. Lakeville North and Lakeville South also have the potential to become state champion, as do Champlin Park and East Ridge.
Last year, Chisago Lakes junior Aliah Williams capped her first season of high school gymnastics in the best way possible, winning the Class 1A all-around title. Williams has another state title on her mind and has been working on new routines, but an upper-body injury has forced her from competition until at least Christmas. In team competition, deep and talented Detroit Lakes is the big favorite to win its fifth consecutive Class 1A crown. The Lakers have already topped 147 points twice and have enviable veteran depth in seniors Cora Okeson, Lexi Yliniemi, Peyton Jernberg and Justine Lawrence.