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Tiger gymnasts compete with No. 1 team at Melrose

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Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta gymnasts traveled to Melrose Tuesday, Jan. 24 for a rescheduled meet with the Dutchmen.

This meet was originally scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 19, at Morris, but Melrose was not able to come that day due to some health concerns.

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While the Tigers wanted to reschedule it as a home meet, the team's respective calendars had too many conflicts. Being a West Central Conference Meet, it had to be made up.

"Melrose has always had a strong program," explained coach Trent Oberg. "They have a great feeder program and begin the gymnasts at a young age. They are able to keep their equipment up year-round. That makes a huge difference.

"I have been coaching at Morris for 16 years and if my memory serves me correct, Melrose has qualified for state all but one of those years," Oberg added. "There have been numerous individual qualifiers and even state champions over the years.

"They are a great team to watch. It is hard not to stare when they are competing - it is amazing. I think our girls and parents were in awe with what the Dutchmen performed."

Melrose is currently ranked No. 1 in Class A standings. Melrose defeated the varsity Tigers 148.65-110.45. The Dutchmen's score was a new school record.

"The Tigers did a nice job. We told them to go in and have fun. Be aggressive, watch, learn, and do your best," said Oberg. "At both the varsity and junior varsity levels, we performed some new tricks, connections, jumps, leaps and combinations to increase our difficulty and scores.

Varsity

"There were several exciting moments during the varsity portion of the meet for the Tigers," exclaimed Oberg. "Hailey Kotts has been having some wrist discomfort as of late. Coach Snell worked with Kotts on a new pass for her floor routine - taking the pressure off the wrists for awhile. Having spent only a few days with the new pass, we had Kotts put it in the routine. I am not sure who jumped higher, Jodi or myself. Hailey nailed the pass like she had been performing it all season.

"Carly Maanum has improved her beam routine a lot in the past weeks. The handstand that she does on the beam is beautiful. I had her work on a new connection in the routine that increased her difficulty. She was nervous during warm-ups, but when it counted she worked her way through them. For safety, I followed through the new connection in case she needed a spot - nope. She was dead on. I must have been really excited as one of the judges got a chuckle from my actions.

"It is nice to receive feedback from the judges about the routines. They are not required to give comments, but some of them go out of their way to be helpful and supportive of the gymnasts. One of the judges was very pleased with our beam routines - the girls are trying some hard jumps and tricks, yet look aggressive and confident.

"She also commented on Kourtney Giese's routine - her form and jumps were very crisp and high; nice choreography and poise."

The varsity set a new season high event score on beam with a 26.15 and set a new season high event score on floor with a 29.35.

Personal Bests:

• Shala Nyvold on bars with a 4.85

• Maanum on bars with a 4.0

• Giese on beam with a 7.75

• Kotts on floor with a 7.95

Junior varsity

The junior varsity Tigers fell to the Dutchmen 123.95-86.

"We continue to rotate the gymnasts and what events that they compete at. Our wish is to have everyone compete at least one event each meet," explained Oberg. "Some of the girls have routines for two and three events, but we want everyone to get some experience.

"I think that the girls are very understanding about this - even to the point that some are offering their spot to allow another gymnast to compete. That is awesome."

The junior varsity set a new season high event score at bars - improving it by 1.3 to a 17.6.

Personal Bests:

• Kendra Jergenson tied her personal best on vault with a 7.7

• Kindra Cannon on bars with a 4.7

• Grace Kruger on bars with a 3.3

• Jolene McNeil on floor with a 3.4

• Karli Siegel on floor with a 5.0

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