Gymnasts win pair of dualsThe Wildcat gymnastics team picked up a pair of dual meet victories last week, including a 137.95 to 122.725 victory over Chippewa Falls in its Big Rivers Conference opener last Tuesday night at the middle school.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
The Wildcat gymnastics team picked up a pair of dual meet victories last week, including a 137.95 to 122.725 victory over Chippewa Falls in its Big Rivers Conference opener last Tuesday night at the middle school.
Thursday night the Cats posted a 134.7 to 119.8 win at Red Wing, Minn.
Head coach Shelly Kahut-Loomis said it was good to be back in action last Tuesday after the Chippewa Falls Invitational was cancelled the previous Saturday due to a snowstorm.
“This was the season’s first competition for over half the team,” she noted. “It was fun to finally see everyone get into a meet and have meet experience. We have a large team of 23, which makes up just over three teams — varsity, JV and JV2. All the girls had the opportunity to compete in at least one event.”
The Cats swept the top three spots in the varsity all-around with sophomore Riley Claude taking first with a total score of 35.8, junior Sierra Becker second with 34.35 and sophomore Paige Skorseth third with 33.75.
“We have a strong all-around trio with Sierra Becker, Paige Skorseth and Riley Claude,” Kahut-Loomis said. “These girls are strong , solid performers.”
Claude scored 9.2 to win the uneven bars competition and tied Becker for first in the vault with a 9.0. She also took second on floor with 9.0. Amanda Guise took first on the balance beam with a score of 8.975.
Becker added a second place score of 7.85 on bars while Ruth Anderson-Benge was third with 7.75. Skorseth tied for second in the vault with a score of 8.9 while Claude was second on beam with 8.95 and Becker was third with 8.6.
“One highlight: All five of our beam routines stayed on the beam,” Kahut-Loomis sad. “This is a great accomplishment for this early in the season. I hope this is a high bar we will hit many times this season.”
Thursday at Red Wing, Becker suffered an injury to her elbow during the Cats’ second rotation on the uneven bars and was forced out of the lineup.
“She got off rhythm, and out of control in her swing, and she took a fall that injured her elbow,” Kahut-Loomis said. “We have now found out that she has a tear to her ligament and will need some rest and rehab time. She is a very strong athlete and person and we wish her a speedy return to our lineup.
“Sierra’s fall shook up the team a bit, but they went on to have a good night on the floor and beam,” the coach added. “We pulled up senior Mary Butler on floor and freshman Kinsy Sylla on beam to fill in for Sierra.”
Before her injury, Becker won the vault competition with a score of 8.925 with Claude second with 8.775 and Skorseth third with 8.65.
Claude won the bars’ competition with an 8.55 with Anderson-Benge second with 7.75, Skorseth third with 7.55 and Megan Brown fourth with 7.45.
Claude also took first on the balance beam with a score of 9.325 and the floor exercise with a score of 9.2 to win the all-around competition with a total of 35.85.
Rose Tashjian was second on the balance beam with 8.725 while Guise was third with 8.425 and Skorseth fourth with 8.125. On the floor, Skorseth took third with 8.875 and Anderson-Benge was fourth with 8.425.
Kahut-Loomis said the team will work over the holiday break with the goal of hitting the 140 point mark.
“With the exception of Sierra’s injury, the first phase of our season has been a success, and we look forward to phase two,” she said. “The coaching staff has enjoyed the involvement with this group of girls, they have been fun, hard working and great sports.”
Read more in this week's print edition of the River Falls Journal.