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Tiger gymnasts tie for first

The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta Tiger gymnasts hit the floor, bars, beam, and vault this past weekend in Moorhead on Saturday, Jan. 11. The meet marked the Tigers’ first meet since Dec. 21 due to weather postponements.

The Moorhead Invitational was a nine team invite where teams were broken into three divisions based upon their respective season average team score.

The Tigers competed in the Bronze Division along with Detroit Lakes, Moorhead Black and Park Rapids.

“We were very excited to attend this meet; last year it was one of our best meets of the   season,” coach Trent Oberg said. “This year we had high hopes as well.”

Junior, Kourtney Giese was back in the line-up after recovering from an injury.

The gymnasts have been working hard with new tricks, added difficulty and cleaner form at all of the events.

“It has been fun to watch them during practice – coaching one another, offering suggestions, and ‘raising the bar’,” Oberg said.

The Tigers and Detroit Lakes tied in the Bronze Division of the Moorhead Invitational for first place with a score of 120.35 – a new season high team score for the Tigers. Park Rapids finished third with a 112.45. Moorhead Black was fourth with a 105.85.

The Tigers were filled with excitement that built with each routine.

“[On the floor] the excitement built with every gymnast; each one continued to build on the previous gymnasts’ success,” coach Jodi Snell said. “Very fun, lots of energy and amazing routines. We were happy to have Kourtney back–her positive energy helped the team carry the excitement throughout the meet.”

Savannah Aanerud, Anna Grove and Kendra Jergenson set new personal best scores with their floor performances.

On the vault, a few gymnasts had a new vault to debut. Over winter break, the gymnasts took time to focus on their technique and execution of their vaults and the scores reflected their hard work. Giese, Aanerud and Noel Schieler set new personal best scores with their vaults.

On the Balance Beam, the Tigers continued to see improvements. Many of the Tigers have been adding an extra half turn to their jumps / leaps, which raises the difficulty level. Karli Siegel performed a stuck beam routine – her first for the season – and set a    new personal best score. “We had fewer falls at the beam, which is great to see,” Snell said.

On the uneven bars, we have been working on adding more of the event requirements.     The bars take a lot of upper body strength and training to learn the tricks and combinations. Schieler included her new release move from the high bar to the low bar.  “She had a big smile on her face after the routine was over – it was a big accomplishment,” Snell said.

“It was fun to see the girls finishing in the top five in every event during the award presentations.”

Giese tied for first place on vault and Aanerud received third.

On the bars, Giese received fourth and Aanerud fifth place. Jergenson was third on beam.

The Tigers took the top three spots on the floor with Aanerud in first, Giese in second and Jergenson tied for third.

In the all–around totals, Aanerud was second with a new personal best and Giese took fourth.

All of the event totals were new season highs for the Tigers. Eight new personal bests were set and the Tigers set a new season high team total.

“We are really excited for the floor–the school record for the event total is 33.3 and we posted a score of 32.95,” Oberg said. “That record may be ‘falling’ soon!”

On the Vault, the school record for the event total is 34.8 and we posted a score of 33.8.  This record could be beaten in the near future as well.

The Tiger gymnasts head to Paynesville Friday, Jan. 17, and then host Long Prairie-Grey Eagle on Monday, Jan. 20 starting at 5 p.m.

Brooke Kern

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