Gymnasts give Park a scare

Rangers hang close in SEC loss

New team member Lyndsey Anderson competes on the beam in last week's close meet with Park. (Photo by Clint Riese)

Clint Riese
Sports Editor

The Park gymnastics team entered this season with state title hopes after placing third last winter. Last Thursday the Wolfpack came to Forest Lake without its top two competitors and nearly left with a loss.

The Rangers dominated the vault and bars competitions but lost points in beam and floor. In the end, Park prevailed 131.8-130.475.

“Going into the last rotation it looked like we might have a chance to overcome Park,” said coach Ashley Brett. “Unfortunately, we had a few hiccups on floor.  Some of them were on skills that were being thrown in competition for the first time, so they will become more consistent with time.”

Forest Lake’s four scorers all finished in the top five on the vault as the team scored 34.875 in that event. Jessica Dhaene won it with a 9.25, and Merina Lenz placed third with a mark of 8.65.

Dhaene posted a season-best score of 9.55 on bars, the team’s second event.

“Jessica had a beautiful bar routine which included a new bonus element and it paid off,” Brett said.

Forest Lake’s Lyndsey Anderson took second place with a score of 8.0. Katie Dison tied for third with 7.95.

The Rangers showed improvement with fewer falls on beam, but Park swept the top three places. The Wolfpack also swept the floor routine competition.

Dhaene’s all-around score of 34.725 was the best on either team. Lenz totaled 31.85, the third-highest total.

Park, which boasts a season-high team score of 142.6, competed without Rachel Deephouse and Kasondra Tulloch, who placed second and third, respectively, all-around at state last year.

On the JV front, Cassidy Baker won the vault and took third all-around, Izzy O’Neil took second all-around and Amanda Williamson scored 8.75 to win the floor routine.

Forest Lake competed at Rush City this Tuesday and faces East Ridge on the road Thursday, Jan. 26.

“This week some of our younger girls will see varsity experience as we give some of our varsity members time off to heal some overuse injuries before we hit sections,” said Brett. “It’ll be a good way for them to see what it is like just in case they are needed at the section meet.”