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Honors pile up for state champ gymnasts

Assistant coaches and former Wildcat gymnasts Hanna Danke and Rachel Paulson, holding the state championship plaque, pose for a picture with this year's senior tri-captains Lauren Gutting, Carly Jerry and Kali Kramolis after the Cats won the WIAA Division 2 state championship earlier this month in Wisconsin Rapids. The three seniors lead a group of seven Wildcats who earned all-state honors this season. Submitted photo

It's been a special year for the Wildcat gymnastics team. And the honors have continued to pile up in the days since the state tournament.

The Cats won their fifth WIAA state championship and had six individuals bring home medals from the state tournament earlier this month in Wisconsin Raids. Since then, seven Cats have received all-state recognition and six have earned all-state academic honors. The awards, as well as Big Rivers Conference and team awards, were announced at the team's end-of-season banquet March 9.

"It was a great season with fun memories, made special by wonderful young ladies, and the support of many people," head coach Shelly Kahut-Loomis said.

River Falls finished the season with an overall record of 34-2, capped off by a WIAA Division 2 state title. The championship is the fifth in the history of the program to go along with four second place finishes.

First team all-state honors went to senior Carly Jerry in the all-around, senior Kali Kramolis on the balance beam, sophomores Sierra Becker and Ruth Anderson-Benge on the uneven bars, and freshman Paige Skorseth on the floor.

Earning second team all-state honors were senior Lauren Gutting on the floor and sophomore Amanda Guise on the balance beam.

Jerry and Kramolis each took home a pair of medals from the state tournament. Jerry was a state champion on the floor and finished sixth in the all-around while Kramolis was third on the balance beam and fourth on the uneven bars.

Skorseth brought home a fifth place medal on the floor while Becker placed fifth in the vault

Earning academic all-state honors were Kramolis, Jerry, Gutting, Guise, Becker, Anderson-Benge and Skorseth.

Jerry, Kramolis and Anderson-Benge were named to the All-BRC first team and Skorseth and Becker earned spots on the second team while Gutting earned honorable mention.

Skorseth was the team's leading scorer this season, garnering a total of 412.275 points. The Best Dancer award went to Guise while Jerry was voted Best Tumbler and Becker was named Most Powerful on Bars and Vault.

The Team Spirit award went to sophomore Rose Tashjian while Most Improved went to freshman Lauren Kizlik.

Kahut-Loomis said the team was grateful for the support of the families, school, moving equipment crew, meet and tournament workers, and community, as well as the River Falls Fire Department for hosting the team on its celebratory ride through town after winning the state title.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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