Gymnasts are goldenThere were plenty of Wildcats on the awards podium at the River Falls Gymnastics Invitational last Saturday, Jan. 14, at the high school.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
There were plenty of Wildcats on the awards podium at the River Falls Gymnastics Invitational last Saturday, Jan. 14, at the high school.
For the first time the tournament was split into two divisions — Gold and Silver. The Wildcat No. 1 team took first in the 8-team Gold Division with a team score of 140.3 while the Cats’ No. 2 team finished second in the 7-team Silver Division with a score of 121.85.
All told, 10 different Wildcats combined for 17 medals in the two-divisions, led by Gold Division all-around champion Riley Claude.
“We were able to field two separate teams with no overlap,” Wildcat head coach Shelly Kahut-Loomis noted. “I’m happy with all the girls in both divisions placing. Every one of our varsity and junior varsity competed in at least one event. It was a lot of fun for the girls. That’s our only event at the high school and they really enjoyed it.”
The Wildcats won the Gold Division title by over six points, with Centennial (Minn.) placing second with 133.925. GMC (Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau/ Melrose-Mindoro/Cochrane-Fountain City) edged River Falls by less than three points to win the Silver Division.
Claude parlayed first place finishes on the vault and uneven bars, a second place score on floor, and a fifth place finish on the balance beam, into a first-place all-around score of 36.2 to win the Gold Division title. Rose Tashjian finished fifth in the all-around with a score of 33.725.
Claude scored 9.05 to win the vault while teammate Karlie Place finished third with an 8.65. On the uneven bars, Claude was first with 8.825 and Ruth Anderson-Benge finished third with 8.775.
The Cats had three of the top six finishers on the balance beam. Amanda Guise took first with a score of 9.425, Paige Skorseth was second with 9.4 and Claude finished fifth with 9.025 despite a fall.
“In both divisions the balance beam was our strength,” Kahut-Loomis noted.
Claude paced the Cats’ Gold Division team in the floor exercise with a second place score of 9.3 while Skorseth tied for fourth with 8.9 and Guise finished sixth with 8.85.
In the Silver Division competition, Taylor Rose and Reilly Myklebust both earned awards in the all-around, with Rose finishing fifth with 31.175 and Myklebust sixth with 29.95.
Rose finished fourth on the balance beam with a score of 7.75 while Lauren Slowiak placed fourth on the uneven bars with a 7.95 and Kelly Maier was sixth with 7.8.
Kahut-Loomis said she was happy with the top team’s score of 140.3
“That’s where we fall about now as a team,” she said. “but there is definitely room for improvement.”
The cats will have a chance to improve on that score when they host Eau Claire North/Memorial in the final dual meet of the season Thursday beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Meyer Middle School. The evening will also be Parents and Senior Night.
As for last weekend, Kahut-Loomis said she was grateful for all the help the team received hosting a big 15-team invite.
“Thanks to the many school personnel, parent, families, and youth gymnasts that all came together to make for a wonderful tournament experience for all the teams and gymnasts,” she said. “We really appreciate all the efforts of everyone involved.”
Read more about the invite and see photos in the Jan. 19 print edition of the River Falls Journal. To purchase or see what's in our photo galleries go here: River Falls Journal Photo Galleries