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Gymnasts persevere in dual

The holiday break is coming at a good time for the Wildcat gymnastics team.

Over half the team was either sick or injured in a dual meet against Red Wing last Tuesday, Dec. 12, but the Cats still managed to score 138.85 compared to the Wingers 123.375 in the Meyer Middle School gymnasium.

"We had over half the team either struggling with an injury or coming down with illness, so we had several girls stepping into new spots," head coach Lauren Kaminski said. "So, with all of that, to stay consistent with our team score felt good."

One constant throughout the season for the Wildcats has been the performance of senior Sam Krueger, who continued that trend last week by sweeping all four individual titles and the all-around. Krueger won the floor exercise with a score of 9.675, the balance beam with 9.6, the vault with 9.4 and the uneven bars with 8.55 for a first place all-around score of 37.225, nearly five full points of her nearest competitor.

"Sam Krueger had an excellent meet, as usual," Kaminski said about the two-time defending state floor champion. "So far this season she's been even more consistent than in years past, so we're now looking to add difficulty here and there in her routines. I'd like to see her senior year be her best yet."

Krueger led a Wildcat sweep of the top five spots on the floor and bars. Autumn Tiede was second on floor with 9.1 and Natalie Swick took third with 8.875 while Kassidy Snell was fourth with 8.825 and Michaela Kramolis placed fifth with 8.5.

On the bars, Madison Berg was second with 8.5, Isabell Seyffer placed third with 7.85, Snell was fourth with 7.625 and Cat Stewart was fifth with 7.6.

Tiede added a third place score of 9.0 in the vault while Kramolis was fourth with 8.875. Freshman Eva Mikla, just returning from injury, contributed a fifth place score of 8.8 in her first varsity meet to help the Cats post their highest team score in the event this season.

Kaminski said freshman Madisyn Tape also led the Wildcats off on the beam by sticking her routine for a sixth place score of 7.95.

"Our beam routines are looking clean and confident, but our scores aren't there quite yet as we're missing out on connections with jumps and tumbling, which often result in a point-two deduction each," Kaminski said.

After hosting Menomonie for Parents and Senior Night Tuesday, Dec. 19, the Wildcats won't compete again until Friday, Jan. 5, when they travel to Superior for a Big Rivers Conference double dual wit the Spartans and Hudson.

"Overall a good meet, but the team is ready for a little R and R over the holiday break," Kaminski said. "We are looking forward to resting up, getting healthy, and then hopefully working some new skills during the break."

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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