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Gymnasts sweep BRC foes

River Falls' Natalie Swick performs her floor routine at the Wildcats' Big Rivers Conference double dual with Hudson and Superior Friday, Jan. 5, in Superior. Swick placed second with a score of 8.95 to help the Cats sweep the Raiders and Spartans. Photo courtesy of Lauren Kaminski

The Wildcat gymnastics team shook off the rust of the holiday break to sweep Hudson and Superior in a Big Rivers Conference double dual Friday, Jan. 5, in Hudson but that doesn't mean head coach Lauren Kaminski was satisfied.

The Wildcats posted a team score of 131.375 to best both Hudson (127.45) and Superior (109.075). Kaminski said it was nice to remain undefeated in BRC competition, but she hopes to see more when the Cats host their annual invitational this Saturday at the high school.

"We pulled of the victory, but we did not perform even close to our potential," she said. "The girls were not very focused and we made a lot of mistakes. We had a ton of falls on beam, which started the night out on an unsteady note. We then went to vault and had several falls there as well. We were able turn things around somewhat on bars with several solid routines. Cat Stewart had probably her best routine of the season so far."

Stewart's fifth place score of 7.95 gave the Wildcats three of the top five scores on bars. Sam Krueger won the event with 8.65 while Madison Berg was second with 8.45.

Krueger won all four individual events and the all-around. She scored 9.175 to win the balance beam but no other Wildcat finished in the top five. She won the vault with 8.85 and Autumn Tiede was second with 8.55, while Krueger's 9.475 on floor was first, Natalie Swick's 8.95 was second and Isabel Seyffer's 8.05 took fifth.

"Isabel Seyffer put in new skills on beam, bars, and floor," Kaminski noted. "She worked really hard over break to add difficulty to her routines and it was great to see that go into action. And Natalie Swick had a great night. She had a solid beam routine and stepped up to varsity bars at the last second and did a great job."

The Wildcats will host their 11-team invitational this Saturday, Jan. 13, beginning at 11 a.m. at the high school. Kaminski said she's looking forward to getting back to competitive form and polishing up some new skills.

"We have some work to do, but I am excited to see the girls work toward their team and individual goals and to see them fulfill that potential," she said.

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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