Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta traveled to New London-Spicer Thursday, Jan. 26 for the last West Central Conference dual gymnastics meet of the season.
The junior varsity came close to breaking the school record for team total, falling 109.6-91.3 to the Wildcats, while the varsity was defeated 128.08-110.38.
"It's hard to believe that the season is almost done," said coach Trent Oberg. "Where has the time gone? It seems like we just began.
"The energy level was high," he explained. "Everyone was upbeat and ready to perform. It was time to put it all out there and see what happens.
"We needed to go for it - JV has been closing in on the team total school record. They have the ability and talent to do it - now was the time to step up.
"NLS has been a fun team to compete with over the years," he added. "They have friendly athletes, good attitudes, and we have gotten to know the coaches very well. It was a relaxed setting.
"We had an awesome meet at vault," Oberg exclaimed. "Varsity and junior varsity set new season high event totals and nine new personal-best scores were achieved and two more gymnasts tied their PB score.
"I was grinning from ear to ear," Oberg said. "It has been several years since I have seen our gymnasts perform such clean vaults."
"Just as the JV had done earlier in the evening, vault was a strong event for us," Oberg said. "It has been several years since the top four scores used to calculate the event total were at an 8.0 or higher - it was nice to see. They did a great job and really impressed me.
"Abby Travis has been slowly working her way back into competition and Thursday night saw her return on vault. It's been great having her back in the line up."
The Tigers set a new season high event total at vault with a score of 33.35. This is 1.45 away from the school record.
Hailey Kotts earned a second-place finish at vault with a new personal-best score of 8.75 out of a 9.4.
"We had to 'water down' our floor routines a little; the floor that we were competing on was unusually hard," explained Oberg. "NLS is hosting the West Central Conference meet in a few weeks. Their normal spring coil floor was getting repaired in preparation for that meet. They were using an older foam block floor - not as forgiving or 'bouncy'.
"We wanted to be safe, so we took out some of the harder tricks that have a harder impact."
Kourtney Giese took third place in all-around and put on a great performance on floor earning her a 7.95 even with her watered down routine.
"We see her moving into the 8+ scoring range very soon," added Oberg.
Giese and Kotts continued to add more points to their respective conference point totals for the end of the season awards with their finishes in the top five at each event.
Kotts on vault with an 8.75
Kendra Buro on vault with a 7.85
Shala Nyvold on vault with an 8.05
"The girls were determined to break the school record and wanted to make a 'deal' with me," explained Oberg. "If they broke the school record, I would have to grow a mustache; shave my head; color my hair; or paint my fingernails.
"We agreed on one - I was willing to give them that extra little incentive," he added. "You could tell that they were on a mission."
Eight of the Tiger JV vaulters tied or set a new personal-best score and increased their vault event total by 1.2 to a 31.9, which is a new season high event total.
Seventh grader Katie Cannon tied for first place at vault with her personal-best score of 8.1.
Seventh graders Kendra Jergenson and Savannah Aanerud stuck their beam routines.
"Aanerud had a nice meet, setting three new personal-best scores," said Oberg.
Her all-around total increased by 1.2 to a 24.64, which earned her third place.
"Once the JV portion of the meet was complete, we started to add up the numbers - even calculating them twice," said Oberg. "It was going to be close. The scores that are shown during the meet are not always accurate - official scores are taken from the judges' score cards and then tabulated at the score table. I am not sure if the girls knew how close they were. The coaches were on pins and needles wondering what the final score would be."
The JV team total school record stands at 91.35 set on Jan., 16, 2009. The score for the JV Tigers that night was 91.30.
It was a new season high team total.
Emily Moser on Vault with a 7.9
Elizabeth Golombiecki tied her personal best score of 6.0 at vault
Haley Erdahl on vault with a 7.7 and on beam with a 4.4
Anika Mundal on vault with a 7.8
Diana Nelson tied her personal best score of 7.85 at vault
Aanerud on vault with a 7.9; on beam with a 6.2; and in all-around with a 24.65
Katie Cannon on vault with an 8.1
Jergenson on vault with an 8.0
Kelsey Voges on beam with a 4.0
Jolene McNeil on beam with a 3.0