Gymnastics: Little Falls’ LeBlanc heading back to state

Rachelle LeBlanc has had her share of big athletic moments, from being the top defender on a trailblazing soccer team to multiple state meets as a pole vaulter to placing third in last year’s gymnastics state all-around.

Still, the stakes were high and the atmosphere no less intense at the Section 8A meet in Perham, Feb. 15, with two other competitors topping 37 points and another four above 36.

No matter, as the Little Falls senior made certain it would not be the final gymnastics meet of her career, elevating herself past the 38-point mark with a championship level total of 38.025 to qualify for state for the fourth year in a row.

LeBlanc earned first on floor (9.625) and beam (9.525), second on bars (9.45) and fourth on vault (9.425).

“I added all the pressure of this being my senior year,” LeBlanc said. “I have a lot of people who love me and are proud of me no matter how I would have competed, but God blessed me with a great meet and a dream meet for a senior, so I’ll take it and give him the glory every time.”

Sophomore Sarah Stout posted a career-best total of 32.0 to take 13th in the all-around, with a career-best score of 7.7 on bars.

Junior Hailey Claseman took 14th on vault with a career-high 8.625.

Little Falls earned fifth as a team at the meet with a season-best 129.275.

Seniors on this year’s team included LeBlanc, Stephanie Cluever and Taylor Axel.

The state meet was scheduled to be held Saturday, Feb. 22 at the University of Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion.