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Honors pile up for gymnasts

Junior Karlie Place won a state title in the vault on her way to earning first team All-BRC, All-State and Academic All-State honors. <i>Bob Burrows photos</i>1 / 2
Wildcat senior gymnast Riley Claude followed up her two state individual titles by being named to the first team All-Big Rivers Conference and first team All-State teams as well as earning Academic All-State honors this season.2 / 2

The Wildcat gymnastics team's historic 2012-13 season just keeps getting better.

The Cats, fresh off their record-setting sixth state championship, dominated the Wisconsin High School Gymnastics Association Division 2 All-State and Academic All-State teams released on Monday.

Ten Wildcats earned either first team, second team or honorable mention to the WHSGA All-State team while 13 earned Academic All-State recognition.

To eligible for Academic All-State honors, a gymnasts must have a grade point average of 3.5 or better and competed in at least three-quarters of her team's meets at the varsity or JV level.

This year's Academic All-State honorees included seniors Riley Claude, Anita Fraser and Lauren Slowiak, juniors Karlie Place, Taylor Rose, Kinsy Sylla and Reilly Myklebust, sophomores Kelly Maier and Karin Sollom, and freshmen Sonja Kelly, Brianna Kubic, Mariah Stewart and Veronica Naranjo.

Claude, a two-time WIAA state champion in the all-around and the uneven bars, and Place, this year's WIAA vault champion, were both named to the All-State First team along with Sollom, while Kubic, Rose and Sylla were named to the second team. Myklebust, Slowiak, Maier and freshman Alyssa Paulson all received honorable mention.

Claude and Place were also both named to the All-Big Rivers Conference First Team while Sollom received honorable mention.

The Cats, under first-year head coach Rachel Paulson, became the first six-time champions in WIAA Division 2 history at the state meet in Wisconsin Rapids earlier this month, while Claude became the first two-time state individual champion in River Falls' history by successfully defending her state titles in both the all-around and the uneven bars.

River Falls has qualified for the WIAA state meet 12 straight years, winning six state titles and finishing runner-up another three times.

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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