Winter wondersThe Wildcat gymnastics team picked a good time to crack the 140 mark for the first time this season.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
The Wildcat gymnastics team picked a good time to crack the 140 mark for the first time this season.
Performing in front of their home crowd at Saturday’s Winter Wonderland Invitational, the Cats posted a season-high score of 140.375 to run away with first place. Second place Chisago Lakes, Minn., was over 12 points behind with 128.025. A total of 12 teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota competed at the event.
“It was good to hit that 140 team score mark on Saturday,” Wildcat coach Shelly Kahut-Loomis said. “This team has the capability to take that score even higher. The second place team was about 12 points down from us; that is a big win in gymnastics.”
The Cats’ domination was evident in the all-around scores, where Riley Claude, Sierra Becker and Paige Skorseth swept the top three spots. Claude finished first with a total score of 35.875, Becker was second with 35.6 and Skorseth finished third with 34.075.
At the end of the day, seven different Wildcats made at least one trip to the awards podium.
“It was very impressive to see so many River Falls girls standing up receiving award recognition,” Kahut-Loomis said. “As I have been saying, we have very strong all-rounds and that showed Saturday.”
Claude and Becker won two individual events each to give the Cats a sweep of the top spot in every event. Claude won the balance beam with a score of 9.425 and the floor exercise with 9.05, while Becker took first in the vault with 9.375 and the uneven parallel bars with 9.1.
The Cats dominated the bars competition with Skorseth placing second with 8.75, Claude third with 8.7 and Ruth Anderson-Benge fourth with 8.6.
Amanda Guise took second on the balance beam behind Claude with a score of 8.75. They were joined on the awards podium by Skorseth in fifth place with 8.5, Becker in sixth with 8.375 and Rose Tashjian in eighth with 8.2.
River Falls had four gymnasts earn awards for the floor exercise. In addition to Claude’s first place score, Skorseth finished third with 8.825, Becker was fourth with 8.75 and Anderson-Benge placed eighth with 8.4.
Joining Becker on the awards stand for the vault was Claude, who placed seventh in the event with a score of 8.7.
Kahut-Loomis said the Cats’ scores were consistent in all four individual events, scoring team totals of 35.150 on the bars and vault, 35.05 on the balance beam and 35.025 on floor.
“I was very proud and pleased with the whole team effort on Saturday,” the coach said. “It was a fun tournament atmosphere here at the high school. Many people work to make our tournament a positive and fun experience for the 12 teams.”
Kahut-Loomis thanked all who attended, and singled out the parents, school personnel and youth gymnasts for helping make the annual event a success.
The Cats return to Big Rivers Conference dual action this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. against Hudson at the Meyer Middle School gym.