The Morris Area/ Chokio-Alberta gymnastics team traveled to Ortonville on Monday, where the Tigers picked up a 115.3-101.25 non-conference win over the Trojans.
"Our prior week was very busy - we did not have much time for practice with all of the meets that we had," explained coach Trent Oberg. "It was nice to have a few days to regroup and make some adjustments with our routines and tricks.
"The balance beam has been an issue for us," Oberg added. "We have not been staying on as much as we would like. Our attention has been focused on cleaning up the tricks and rearranging the routines. The girls have amazing tricks, jumps, and leaps, but we needed to simplify the details and eliminate the extra fluff.
"Many of the girls have 'new' routines. By taking the skills that they already have and rearranging the placement of those skills and the respective connections, we felt that our number of falls would decrease in time. Since this was a non-conference meet, it was a good time to try these new routines out.
"We looked rough around the edges and nervous at the beam. It was like the first meet of the season with nerves and forgotten elements. With the new routines, there was a sense of insecurity, but that will improve with time.
"The coaches were impressed with the Tigers' performances. We could already see improvements in the flow and requirements of the routines. As we work on them more in practice, the girls will become more familiar and the scores will improve. It will be worth the wait."
"Kourtney Giese is very close to the school record on floor. We are holding our breathe at each meet to see if she can get there," said assistant coach Jodi Snell. "Bars has improved immensely and it is so exciting to watch the girls come together and cheer one another on. We can't wait to see what will happen at the next meet."
"As a coach, we are getting to the exciting time of the season. Over the last few meets, we have been able to 'rotate' the gymnasts into different places in competition without seeing much of an impact on the scores. With the depth of our team and the performances of the girls we are realizing that we can be a strong team even with an illness or injury. We have the talent to fill in as needed.
"Inner-squad push is becoming more evident each day. The drive and motivation of the Tigers is great to see and we are pushing them. There are team goals that we have set and I have no doubts that these can be reached. We have been seeing several of the younger gymnasts stepping up and meeting the challenge.
"In practice, we can see them helping one another in a variety of ways - spotting, making suggestions, and being supportive of one another. The TEAM philosophy is there - Together Everyone Achieves More. They are beginning to 'feed' off of one another.
"Eighth graders Katie Cannon, Kendra Jergenson, and Savannah Aanerud are really catching the attention of the coaches with their hard work and determination. The scores that they have been posting are well deserved. Their respective personal-best scores seem to increase with each passing meet and that is exciting."
At Ortonville Cannon competed in JV all-around for the first time in her gymnastics career. In the process she set three new personal-best scores and received first place in all-around.
"Jergenson has been a solid gymnast. She has bounced back and forth between JV and varsity competition without batting an eye. We can depend on her. She had a great night setting four new personal-best events. I am sure that she would have had five, but we had her competing two events at the JV level and two events at the varsity level.
"With the end of the season nearing, we are starting to prepare for the hard task of reducing the size of the squad. We have so many possibilities of gymnasts, this will not be an easy process. The spots are limited and the options are plentiful. These next couple of weeks will be interesting."
The Tigers took all five places on bars, set five new personal-best scores, had one tie for personal best, and recorded one new season-high event total.
Kourtney Giese placed first on vault and floor, second on bars, tied for fourth on beam, and received first place in all-around.
Hailey Kotts took second place on vault and first place on bars.
Savannah Aanerud placed first on beam, second in all-around, and fifth on bars.
Kendra Jergenson took second place on beam.
Hailey Erdahl tied for third place on vault.
Abby Travis tied for third place on vault and received fifth place on floor.
Kendra Buro took third place on bars.
Noel Schieler took fourth place on bars.
The junior varsity won 95.3-67.35 with 12 new personal-best scores, one tie for personal best, and two new season-high event totals.
Kendra Jergenson took first place on vault and first place on bars.
Katie Cannon tied for first place on floor, received first place in all-around, fourth place on bars, and fifth place on beam.
Kendra Buro took second place on vault.
Kindra Cannon placed second on bars and first on beam.
Katie Giese took second place on beam and tied for fifth place on floor.
Carly Maanum placed third in two events, vault and bars.
Anna Grove placed third on beam and tied for first place on floor.
Cassidy Fehr took third place on floor.
Diana Nelson placed fourth on vault and tied for fifth place on floor.
Nicole Hansen tied for fifth place on bars.
Karli Siegel took fourth place on floor