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GUILDERLAND: Lady Dutch send four to states

The Guilderland gymnastics team didn't win its first Section II title since the late 1970s, but it didn't diminish what the Lady Dutch accomplished at Thursday's Sectional meet in Latham.

Three Guilderland gymnasts, led by senior Dana Goodknight, will compete for Section II at the March 3 state meet at Rush-Henrietta High School outside Rochester, while a fourth gymnast will travel as an alternate.

It's been a long time since Guilderland sent four kids to states, said coach Brenda Goodknight.

The Lady Dutch were hoping to end Saratoga's streak of Sectional titles after finishing the regular season with an 8-0 record. However, the Blue Streaks nipped Guilderland in each of the four events to finish first with a score of 170.875. Guilderland settled for second place with a score of 168.100.

"We didn't have our best day at Sectionals, and I can count a couple of reasons why we didn't have our best day," said Goodknight. "The older girls put a lot of pressure on themselves to do well, and the younger girls hadn't been in that position before. But that's what happens when you have a team that's half high school kids and half middle school kids."

Dana Goodknight capped her stellar season by winning the all-around title at Sectionals. She placed first in the floor exercise, the balance beam and the uneven bars to finish first overall with a score of 36.575 " more than a full point ahead of runner-up Breanne Clark of Saratoga.

"She did a great job," coach Goodknight said of her daughter. "She had a little bit of a problem with the vault, but she set a school record in the floor exercise."

Eighth-grader Alexa Patnaude qualified for states in two individual events. Patnaude placed second to Goodknight in the uneven bars and finished third in the vault to make the Section II team.

Senior Toni Marie Whitbeck completed her comeback season by finishing fifth in the uneven bars to secure a spot on the Section II team.

"She had a phenomenal routine at Sectionals," Goodknight said of Whitbeck, who missed nearly two years of gymnastics due to injuries.

Eighth-grader Kristi Russell was named a Section II team alternate after placing seventh in the floor exercise.""

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