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Tiger gymnasts break 120 points, Giese named all-conference

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The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta gymnastics team traveled to Melrose on Saturday, Feb. 9 for the West Central Conference Gymnastics Meet where the Tigers reached their goal of surpassing 120 points and finished with one all-conference honoree.

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Other teams attending the meet  included Benson/Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Melrose Area, and  Paynesville/Eden Valley-Watkins.  

The WCC Meet is run as a dual meet against each school.  These standings are then added to the regular-season WCC dual meets to determine the overall result.  The WCC gymnastics final team standings for the 2012 – 2013 season are as follows: team champion is Melrose Area with an 8-0 record, followed by Benson/K-M-S with a  6-2 record, Paynesville/EV-Watkins and Morris/C-A finished with 3-5 records, and Long  Prairie-Grey Eagle with an 0-8 record.

During the WCC regular season, individual gymnasts receive points for finishing in the top five places at each event. First Place receives five points, second place four, third place three, fourth place two, and fifth place one point.  Each gymnast accrues her respective points at each WCC dual meet and adds them to the points earned at the WCC Meet.  During the WCC Meet, these point values double and the top 10 places receive points at each event with first place receiving 10 points.

The Tigers gymnastics team had seven individuals receive WCC points during the season: senior Hailey Kotts; juniors Kendra Buro, Paige Schieler, and Abby  Travis; sophomore Kourtney Giese; and eighth graders Savannah Aanerud and Kendra Jergenson.

“Up until this season, I believe that six individuals were the most that MACA had earning WCC points in a season,” said coach Trent Oberg.  “This is an impressive statement about our Tiger  gymnastics program.”

Going into the WCC Meet, Kourtney Giese was in the running to be a part of the all-conference team.  Individuals that receive all-conference recognition must  finish in the top 12 in individual gymnasts point standings following the completion of the meet.  The next four individual gymnasts are named honorable  mention all-conference. 

“Kourtney had a great meet on Saturday finishing fifth overall in the point standings.  Thus, earning a spot on the West Central All-Conference Team,” said Oberg.

“Overall, we had a great meet.  We have been telling the girls that they have more in them, that we can break 120 points as a team, and we can be competitive.  It all came together on Saturday.  They realized it was possible and we had our best meet of the season.  The meet was very exciting and fun and watching the respective  scores after each Tiger routine was awesome.  The hard work, tears, frustrations, and determination were paying off. We set new season-high event totals on the bars, beam and floor, and vault was very close.  Our final team score of 122.325 was a new season high – possibly the second highest team score in the Tiger gymnastics program history. 

“It was an awesome day.  The coaches are very proud of the Lady Tigers.”

Kourtney Giese tied for eighth place on vault; set  new personal-best scores on bars with a 7.9 and on beam with an 8.1 receiving seventh-place finishes in both events; received sixth place on floor and sixth place in all-around with a new personal-best score of 33.15. 

“Her all-around score was a major hurdle to get over.  Kourtney has been holding steady in the mid to upper 31 points for most of the season.  In  gymnastics, there is a hurdle to get over – that being breaking the 32-point mark in all-around,” explained Oberg. “We have been waiting all season for this.  She had a great meet,  everything was working in her favor, and she performed beautifully.  Not only did  she get past the 32-point hurdle, she skipped over it and went to 33.15.”

Paige Schieler finished eighth on floor and set a new personal-best score in all-around with a 29.85. 

“This was a milestone for Paige,” said Oberg. “She has not competed all-around for several years due to nagging injuries.  It was nice to see her back at full level.”

Kendra Buro set a new personal best on the bars with a score of 7.45.  Her efforts allowed her to tie for 10th place at bars that day.

Carly Maanum set a new personal-best score on the beam with a 6.4.  

“Watching the tiger gymnasts expressions and excitement as the meet progressed was  awesome.  When it was time to announce the team results for the day, their  looks and reactions were priceless. It brought tears to our eyes and great pride in our hearts.”

The Tigers will now participate in the Section 6A Gymnastics Meet this Saturday, Feb. 16 beginning at 1 p.m. at the Kennedy Elementary School (Old Senior High Bldg.) in Willmar.

WCC Meet Team Results: 1. Melrose Area 148.5; 2. Benson/K-M-S  126.225; 3. Morris/C-A 122.325; 4. Paynesville/EV-W  118.3; 5. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 115.025    

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