The Owatonna High School gymnastics squad won its fifth straight Big Nine Conference championship Saturday in Austin. It is the school's 16th overall, which is the most of any program in the 49 years of holding conference championships in the sport. The Huskies will try to continue their string of section titles Friday, February 14 at Rochester Century High School.

Owatonna turned in a season-high score of 145.875, winning the bars routine and floor exercise. OHS was second on the vault and third on the beam. Junior Lindsay Bangs won the all-around in addition to the uneven parallel bars and floor exercise. She was second on the vault.

Junior Lucy Macius took third on the floor. Bangs, Macius, and freshman Kaitlyn Cobban earned All Big Nine honors. Freshman Cheyenne Petersen and seventh-grader Halle Theis were named All Big Nine honorable mention.

The Huskies had five of the top seven scores on the bars, a great start to the meet said first-year head coach Evan Moe, "We went 35.9 on bars. Everyone had a pretty solid bar rotation. We actually won bars by about a point-and-a-half. What I thought was a good bars, not an amazing bars, actually turned out to be a really good bars for the meet."

Moe said he had been a little concerned with the rotation the Huskies had starting on the bars. The team lost some momentum by taking seven falls on the beam.

"We're starting off strong. Like, here we go. And then any excitement or positive momentum, just kind of got the wind knocked out of us felt like on beam." OHS still finished third overall on beam.

"Then we go to floor and just smash floor," said Moe. "We go 37.875 which is by far our high...Really good to see after such a bad beam." The Huskies won floor. The Huskies closed with a 37.2 on vault, good for second overall.

Moe sees upward movement as a good possibility for the team score, "A lot of room to go up clearly." Ranked teams Rosemount and Farmington are part of the section lineup for Friday night.

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