Alt, Seitz Lead Stuttgart to Another Bundesliga Win

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A determined team from Karlsruhe-Söllingen closed the gap between their team score and the one from Stuttgart, but the defending champions managed to hold off the challengers by just over three points to win their sixth Bundlesiga title in a row.

Headed by 2017 world beam bronze medalist Tabea Alt and two-time Olympian Elisabeth Seitz, the Stuttgart team dominated on bars and also put up big numbers on vault and floor to take the gold with a 207.650. Alt contributed scores on all four events to win the all-around with a 53.750, posting the top result on vault with a 14.1 and the second-best scores on bars and beam with a 13.75 and 13.1, respectively, while Seitz scaled back to just bars, earning the highest individual score of the meet with a 14.5 a week after taking the gold at Cottbus.

In addition to these two, we also saw junior Emelie Petz with good work on vault and floor, posting the highest score with a 13.05 on the latter, though she did struggle with a fall on beam, while Dorien Motten, a guest from Belgium, added to their floor total with a 12.9 there, the second-best score of the meet, in addition to putting up a 13.5 on vault.

Carina Kröll contributed scores everywhere but bars, Lisa Katharina Hill put up the third-best bars score of the meet with a 13.4, helping Stuttgart to a massive total of 53.5 on the event (which dwarfed the other teams by four points), and junior Kim Ruoff, a member of this summer’s EYOF team, competed on beam, earning an 11.6.

While beam is where Stuttgart struggled a bit, it’s where Karlsruhe-Söllingen made up the most ground, coming in nearly two points ahead of Stuttgart in addition to topping the top team on vault by over a tenth.

With no all-arounders competing, and with 2017 world beam champion Pauline Schäfer competing only on vault and bars (falling on the latter to post just a 10.0), the standout competitor for this squad ended up being Leah Griesser, who posted the third-best score on bars with a 13.4 and the top score on beam with a 13.7, a huge victory for the 2016 Olympic alternate, who had a scary fall on the event at worlds trials that forced her to withdraw from the rest of the competition.

Griesser also posted the fourth-best score on floor with a 12.8 for a gorgeous performance. Her tumbling continues to be pretty basic, but her expression both in her face and through her choreography is exquisite, making this a fan favorite routine at the competition in Ludwigsburg.

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Other competitors for Karlsruhe-Söllingen included first-year seniors Isabelle Stingl, Helene Schäfer, and Emma Höfele each with some standout routines, as Stingl performed well on floor, Schäfer put up the second-highest vault score with a 13.8, and Höfele had the third-best scores on vault and floor; they also got a strong performance from Maike Enderle on bars, who posted a 13.35, the fourth-best of the meet. But bars is unfortunately where they struggled the most, failing to reach a 50 on the event, which held them back from being able to challenge the bars queens from Stuttgart. It was great to see this team continue to rise, though, coming close to matching Stuttgart at several meetups in 2017 and bridging the gap by several points compared to last year.

The fight for bronze was between the up-and-comers from Steglitz and Mannheim, with Steglitz ultimately getting on the podium despite a rough meet on beam. Led by Michelle Timm and padded by Italian guest competitor Clara Colombo, this is a super young team with Timm the veteran at age 20, but they’ve been climbing the ranks, beating out last year’s finals qualifiers Chemnitz-Altendorf and Köln to make the finals thanks to a few excellent meets earlier this season.

Timm, who has topped the Bundesliga all-around fields twice this season and has the highest cumulative total for the season, ended up with the silver all-around medal here with a 50.000, falling on beam but putting up the third-best vault score of the meet with a 13.75 in addition to showing good work on bars and floor. Colombo, meanwhile, was fourth all-around with a 47.600, contributing the program’s strongest score on beam with a 12.15.

Steglitz’s finish was rounded out by scores from junior Alicia Helm as well as young seniors Lea Wolff and Rebecca Koschny, with Helm showing potential on vault and floor.

The team from Mannheim placed a close fourth, led by all-arounders Amelie Föllinger in third with a 49.350, Florine Harder in fifth with a 47.050, and Rebecca Matzon in sixth with a 43.950, while juniors Hannah Dietz and Muriel Klumpp each contributed on two events apiece. Föllinger struggled on bars, but looked great on beam, putting up the third-best score with a 12.85, and she also got through a solid floor set for a 12.6 while posting a 13.5 on vault.

The gymnasts in the Bundesliga will compete one more time at a Bundesliga “super final” this coming week in Hoheneck. Full results from the competition are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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