Dutch trio flips its way to state meet

GUILDERLAND — A Dutch trio will be heading to the New York State gymnastics meet after impressive performances at the Section II meet at Shaker High School last Thursday.

Ninth-graders Alexa Patnaude and Kristi Russell, along with eighth-grader Cat Diamente will travel to the state meet that will take place on March 1 in Carmel.

Guilderland, which hosted the competition, finished second at the meet to Saratoga by a score of 169 to 158.025. For the second year in a row, the Lady Dutch finished second at the sectional meet.
"The goal was second," said Guilderland Coach Brenda Goodknight. "Saratoga has beaten us during the season by 11 or 12 points. The goal was second. The rest of the teams were pretty even talent-wise. It came down to who has a good day and who doesn’t.
"We’d beaten Bethlehem, Shaker, and Shenendehowa at some point during the season," Goodknight added. "Not every time, but we want one more good try."

Bethlehem was third with 157.5 points, Shen was fourth with 157.375, and Shaker was fifth in 154.7.

The battle for second place came down to the final event, the balance beam. It’s an event the Lady Dutch have struggled with this season.
"In the last event, we really put it together," Goodknight said. "The girls didn’t let the pressure get to them. They didn’t give up and finished strong as a team. That’s the reason we got second. If we had a typical showing on the beam, it would have been different. They put in hard work the past couple of weeks and it paid off for them."

Three qualify for state meet

Patnaude will be competing in the state meet for the second consecutive year in the uneven bars and vault. She finished second in the bars behind all-around winner Heather Markus of Saratoga. Patnuade scored 8.65 points.

Patnaude finished fifth in the vault with a score of 8.375. She also came in fifth in the all-around with a combined 33.40 points.
"Alexa’s been injured and sectionals was her fifth meet of the season," Goodknight said. "Most girls had at least 12 or more. For her to be at sectionals was an amazing comeback."

Patnaude was injured during a meet at Bethlehem High School on Jan. 3. She broke her heel after falling while performing on the uneven bars.

Russell came in second in the floor exercise last Thursday after scoring 9.25 points. She will compete in that event at states.

Russell came in 11th in the all-around with a combined 32.075 points. Russell made the team as an alternate in the floor exercise.

Diamente came in third on the balance beam and finished the event with a score 8.75. She finished 17th in the all-around with a combined 30.525 points.

It is Diamente’s first trip to the state meet.
"We got three girls this year," Goodknight said. "Hopefully, next year we’ll get a couple more."

"Total team effort"

The three state qualifying gymnasts paced the Lady Dutch last Thursday, but other competitors aided in the Dutch’s strong performance.

Seventh-graders Casie Girvin and Lena Rotella had good performances in their first sectional competition.
"They handled the pressure of sectionals well," Goodknight said. "But it was a total team effort."

Juniors Corrine Chatnik and Corrina Goutos helped the newcomers handle the ultra-competitive scene at the sectionals, Goodknight said.
"They really helped the girls keep their focus," the coach said.

Goodknight credited ninth-grader Jasmine Day with having a good day at the sectional meet.
"She did well. But it was a total team effort," she re-iterated. "Everyone did their best."

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