Park gymnastics: Wolfpack makes third-straight trip to state tonight
The Park gymnastics team competes in its third-consecutive state meet tonight - Friday, Feb. 22, at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavillion.
The Wolfpack - currently ranked sixth in Class AA - earned a third-straight trip to state with a 145.65 score and a first-place finish at sections. Park finished third in the state in the 2010-11 season and fourth last year.
Longtime rival Roseville, the defending state champ, is favored to win its sixth state title since 2006. The Raiders, which return seven gymnasts from last year's team, are currently ranked No. 1 with a 149.342 average score. Northfield, which is ranked second with a 149.0 average and won the state titles in 2010 and 2011 will also be a top contender.
The team competition is Friday, and the individual championships are Saturday.
New individual champions will emerge in all of the Class AA events.
Park seniors Kasondra Tulloch and Rachel Deephouse and sophomore Sarah Schank will try for individual titles in multiple events.
Tulloch will vie for state titles in the all-around, the floor-exercise, the bars and the beam. Schank will also compete for a title in the all-around, along with the bars and the beam. Deephouse, who doesn't compete on the bars or the beam because of a back injury suffered last year, reached state in both of her events - the vault and the floor exercise.
Tulloch is hoping to improve on last year's sixth-place showing on bars. She is the only returning qualifier. Tulloch is also the highest returning medalist in floor exercise. She took second in the floor last year. Two other medal-winners also return in the floor exercise: Bailey DuPay of Northfield, fourth; and Deephouse, who was sixth.
DuPay is the only returning medalist in the all-around competition. She finished third in 2012. She is also the only returning medalist in balance beam. She finished in fifth place last year. Mariah Miller of St. Cloud Tech, who placed sixth last year, is the only returning medal-winner in the vault.
The meet will also be the last for longtime Park head coach Mark Sikich, who is stepping down from the job at the end of the year - his 31st as a coach.
The Class AA competition is set to start at 6 p.m. on both nights.
Tickets for the meet are available at the Sports Pavilion. Adult tickets cost $12 per session and
student tickets cost $8 per session.