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Gymnasts defeat Ortonville again

The Tiger gymnastics team defeated Ortonville on Dec. 16 at Morris Area.

"This was a highly anticipated meet, as the Lady Tigers were eager to repeat what they had done earlier in the season against Ortonville," said coach Trent Oberg. "At the Morris Invitational in early December the Tigers finished higher than the Trojans."

The varsity won 112.85-108.25 with a season-high score. The junior varsity also picked up a victory, 87.4-73.8, the JV's highest team score to date.

"Over the past few seasons, we have been very close to Ortonville," said Oberg. "They have become our 'rival', especially since the 07-08 season. The Trojans were victorious three out of four times against the Tigers in some very close meets. The last of which was a team score separation of only .05.

"We were very pumped up and excited," added Oberg.

In Junior Varsity action, seventh grader Paige Loew competed on the floor exercise for the first time in her gymnastics career. She mentioned that she "felt a little nervous, but overall really good" about performing her routine. Loew received a 4.5 for her score.

Another first-time performer on floor was seventh grader Kendra Buro. She received a 1.9 for her efforts.

Seventh graders Risa Fehr and Paige Schieler performed on the vault for the first time during JV action. Fehr received a score of 7.2 and Schieler received a 7.1.

"Throughout the meet, individuals on both the junior varsity and varsity squads were receiving personal best scores. That is always exciting to see - not only for the coaches, but the gymnasts - to know that the hard work has paid off," said Oberg.

On the vault, personal bests were attained by Larissa Schmidgall with a 7.7 and Hailey Kotts with a 7.2.

Scores on the uneven bars are slowly improving. Receiving personal bests were Missy Ascheman with a 4.5, Rachel Moser with a 7.75 and Larissa Schmidgall with a 4.3.

The balance beam competition saw Schmidgall with a stuck routine and a personal-best score of 6.5. Kendra Dalseide improved her personal best to a 4.2 and Kotts jumped her personal-best score to a 5.2 from a 3.7.

On the floor exercise, Michelle Jipson raised her personal-best score to a 7.3 and Schmidgall increased her personal-best score to a 5.95.

In all-around action, Katie Huot improved her personal best to a 30.8 and Kotts moved from a 16.9 to a new personal best of 20.7.

The JV vault event score increased to a 30.1 and their uneven bars event score moved to a 15.5.

At the varsity level, the uneven bars event total rose to a 24.45 and the balance beam event score improved to a 28.7.

"I was truly amazed at the attitude and performances of the gymnasts," commented Oberg. "They did a fantastic job and had fun while doing it. I am proud of the accomplishments that the individuals and team made that night."

Senior co-captain Michelle Jipson shared her thoughts about the season and team so far.

"I haven't been on the team for three years and I'm amazed at how well the team is bonding. The girls have guts and are willing to work hard," said Jipson. "The potential is outstanding. The best thing about the team is how they work together. It's a lot of fun and very easy going just being with them. Our gymnasts rock!"

With that attitude fanning the flame of the Tiger gymnasts, the season is really just starting to heat up!