Morris Area gymnasts returned to action in the new year with their first road meet of the season at New London-Spicer Tuesday.
The Tigers took a 133.25-84 loss to the Wildcats in varsity action.
At the junior varsity level, the Tigers lost 107.75-65.
"It was a good meet for the gymnasts and the coaches," said coach Trent Oberg. "We were a little rusty, but there were still good efforts from all of the gymnasts.
"Judging seemed to be a little tougher, but we need to have that once in awhile to help us focus on the little things - pointed toes, fluidness, connections," added Oberg.
"New London-Spicer is a strong team with a lot of talent," said Oberg. "They have been at the top of the conference and section meets, sending many individuals to state."
Two varsity gymnasts, Rachel Moser and Paige Schieler, were out due to illness.
"We had to dig deep and fill the roster," said coach Trent Oberg. "A lot of the younger gymnasts had to step up.
"It was a true test of team depth."
Seventh grader Grace Kruger was asked to be an All-Arounder in junior varsity for her first time.
"Deep down I knew that Kruger could handle it," said Oberg. "Grace was not as sure about it at first, but once we got thru warm-ups she was ready.
Following the meet, she told Oberg it wasn't bad after all.
"Grace did a great job and set four new personal bests," he said.
Kourtney Giese was asked to be an All-Arounder in varsity for her first time.
"She has a very positive and enthusiastic attitude," said Oberg. "When we told her that she was going on varsity in All Around action she was very excited.
"Giese didn't show any signs of nerves - she went out and performed to the best of her abilities," said Oberg. "For her efforts she set three new personal bests that night."
Varsity gymnast Cammi Aanerud tied for fifth place on the vault and took fifth in All-Around competition.
At the junior varsity level, Abby Travis tied for fourth place on the vault and took fourth in All Around.
Kruger was fifth in All Around.
Personal-best scores were achieved by Shandi Hopkins on vault; Amber Logan on floor; Emily Ruether on floor; Giese on vault, floor and in All Around; and Kruger on vault, bars, beam, and in All Around.
Monday night the Tigers travel to Ortonville.
"This will be an intense meet," predicted Oberg. "We beat them by .9 when they were here before the holidays,"