The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta gymnastics team traveled to Benson on Thursday, Jan. 10 for the Tigers' second West Central Conference meet of the season. The varsity gymnasts fell to an always strong Benson/Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg team 125.15-110.675.
"Several of the Tiger gymnasts have received conference points from our previous meet, so we were hopeful that the gymnasts could gain some more and improve their respective standings in the conference," explained coach Trent Oberg.
"This was a good meet for us," added Oberg. "We have been raising the bar in our routines at each event. It takes time to have these tricks 'gel' with the routine and the gymnast. We were starting to see that. Connections and jump combinations were looking a lot better. The Lady Tigers were looking more relaxed and comfortable during their respective performances. It was nice to see and the scores reflected it.
"The girls have heard me say it a lot this season - you have more talent and potential inside of you than we are showing yet," Oberg said. "We need to continue to dig deep and work hard to get to our potential. In my opinion, we are not near our peak - that is exciting.
"The uneven bars are showing signs of growth and improvement," Oberg said. "The girls are working hard and learning new tricks. We should see the scores continue to climb as the new tricks are put into their routines. Upper body strength is a major factor in this event.
"The balance beam seems to be our determining factor - as it is with any gymnastics team," explained Oberg. "Staying on the beam is an issue. Each fall takes five tenths off the gymnast's score. We are struggling with this. In practice and warm-ups, everything appears to go smoothly. Once the meet begins, it is a different story. We are going to be adding some 'pressure sets' to our practice plans to improve the fall issue."
The varsity set a new season-high team total. The Tigers also set three new personal-best scores one season-high event score.
Kourtney Giese took first place on floor, tied for third place on vault, received third place on bars, and fourth place in all-around.
Kendra Buro took fifth place on bars.
Savannah Aanerud took fifth place on beam.
The Tiger junior varsity team set a season-high and new school record team score with a 92.75. However, the Braves won the meet with a 98.65.
The junior varsity also tied four personal-best scores, set six new personal-best scores, and set two season-high event scores.
"It has been a long time in coming, but I knew it was possible. The junior varsity team score of 92.75 posted by the Tigers broke the school record of 91.35 set nearly four years ago on Jan. 16, 2009," said Oberg. "When the scores were read that night, I was not sure if we had broken it - I had forgotten to grab my personal-best scores sheet that night. Once we got home and I found the page with the stats, it was official. It was an awesome feeling and the girls were very excited. This mark will continue to grow."
Kindra Cannon stuck her balance beam routine for the second meet in a row and third time this season.
"She does a nice job up there and appears comfortable," added Oberg.
Kindra Cannon took third place on bars and fifth place on beam.
Savannah Aanerud took first place on bars.
Kendra Jergenson tied for third place on vault and took fourth place on bars.
Diana Nelson tied for third place on vault.
Katie Cannon took fourth place on beam and tied for fifth place on floor.
Carly Maanum took fifth place on vault.
Kendra Buro tied for fifth place on floor.