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Gymnastics: Irish win ninth straight team title at Simley Invite

It's fair to say the Rosemount gymnastics team has owned the Simley Invitational.

The Irish opened their season by winning the meet for the ninth year in a row Saturday, outscoring runner-up Bloomington Jefferson 132.95-129.9. Hudson, St. Anthony, Simley, Bloomington Kennedy, South St. Paul, North St. Paul and Henry Sibley rounded out the nine-team invite.

"We should be competitive in all meets," said 15th-year head coach Jason Passeri. "We had 40 girls come out this year. This team has lots of talented middle-schoolers and returning gymnasts."

One of those talented middle schoolers is seventh-grader Josey Schlie, who shined in her varsity debut with a second-place score of 35.35 in the all-around. Schlie, who has been in the Irish youth program since she was 3 years old and has competed for the last six years, claimed meet titles in both the vault (9.55) and floor exercise (9.4). She also placed third in the uneven bars and sixth in the balance beam.

Joining Schlie in the Irish's promising lineup are five returning all-conference performers: Rachel Schow, Abby Nelson, Jenna Schlukebier, Kailey Askew and Meghan Creese. Creese led the team in the balance beam with a fourth-place finish, placed third in the vault with a 9.35 and scored seventh in the floor exercise en route to a sixth-place all-around score of 32.95.

Nelson was fifth in the all-around with a 33.15. She placed seventh in the bars, sixth in the beam and fifth in the floor.

Schow added a pair of top-10 finishes, taking eighth in the vault and sixth in the floor. Jana Elliott placed ninth in the vault and Schlukebier 10th in the bars.

The Irish are back in action Tuesday when they open their South Suburban Conference dual schedule at home against Eagan. Events begin at 6 p.m.