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Gymnastics: Irish score season-high 138.65 against Eagan

An Irish gymnast performs her floor routine.

The Rosemount gymnastics team was so close to hitting its 140-point goal last week, coach Jason Passeri was almost ready to start celebrating.

The Irish were facing perhaps the conference and section's best team in Eagan. Even reaching 140 team points wasn't likely to ensure a victory against the No. 5-ranked Wildcats. However, Passeri wasn't going to let that spoil the good feelings associated with reaching the 140-point mark for the first time this season.

Rosemount was so close to its goal, Passeri started to do the math.

"I even started figuring it out," Passeri said. "I shouldn't have done that."

Entering Rosemount's best event, the floor exercise, Passeri figured his team needed to average an 8.75 on the floor to reach 140 points. He thought to himself, "We could do that."

The Irish missed their goal, but still wound up with their highest team score of the year in a 145.4-138.65 loss to Eagan.

"I was proud of the results," Passeri said. "We look like we belonged. They are a really good team. They have four seniors on every event. They'll graduate a lot of kids.

"You look at us. We'll have almost everyone back besides Kathy Aune and Paige Henke. It will be interesting to see what happens."

Rosemount posted its best total team score on the strength of its best uneven bars and balance beam performances of the season.

On the bars, Kailey Askew and Abby Nelson each scored an 8.575. It was Nelson's top bar score of the year. Claire Holtz was fifth with an 8.725.

The Irish then stuck each routine on the balance beam on the way to a season-high team total of 35.65.

Henke started the event with an 8.8. Aune followed with an 8.525 and Askew scored an 8.6.

Holtz took second place with a 9.25 and Nelson finished the event, taking third with a 9.0.

Askew finished second on the floor with an 8.95. Holtz was third with an 8.875, leading to her top all-around finish of the season.

Holtz was second in the all-around against Eagan after scoring a combined 35.55.

It's just the first loss this season in the South Suburban Conference for the 6-1 Irish.

Rosemount is hoping for a tie in the conference standings. With one meet left in the season, the Irish visited Eastview, while conference-leading Eagan had a meet with Lakeville North, ranked No. 10. The Irish beat Lakeville North earlier this season.

"If we're able to tie for the conference championship that would still be kind of fun," Passeri said. "I'm not going to say we were always scoring high, but we found ways to pull out victories. Hopefully we can keep the streak going."