2010-11 WInter Preview: Robinette returns to lead Raptors gymnastsEast Ridge gymnastics coach Christine Askham said it’s no longer an inaugural season.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
East Ridge gymnastics coach Christine Askham said it’s no longer an inaugural season.
Last year, East Ridge sent three gymnasts to the Class A state meet and finished as the Section 1A runner-up. This year, the Raptors, who finished 3-6 in the Suburban East Conference, return two of their three state-qualifying gymnasts, along with the majority of its first-year roster and a number of new athletes in hope of jumping over some new hurdles.
“We now have some experienced gymnasts with specific goals geared towards high school gymnastics,” Askham said. “These returning gymnasts will be able to be leaders to the six new gymnasts this year. We are still a young team with only three upperclassmen. The energy in the gym is enthusiastic and motivated and we are excited to let this energy channel into meeting our potential this season.”
In its first year, East Ridge was led by Leah Robinette, Keliana Thompson and Kelly McKenzie. This season, Robinette and Thompson are back to lead the way, minus MckEnzie, who transferred to Park.
Last year, Robinette — now a junior team co-captain — qualified for the Class A state meet in four events — including the all-around — and had the Raptors’ best finish at state, taking fourth place overall in the vault with a score of 9.60, earning All-State. Thompson — a freshman this year — finished 29th on the uneven bars with a 8.00 score at the state meet, garnering All-State Honorable Mention. Other key returning gymnasts include: junior co-captain Stephanie Luebbe, Lauren LaForte, Jordan Weiss, Libby Lawrence and Jamila Joiner.
East Ridge will join District 833 mates Park and Woodbury in Section 3AA this year, where they will battle with Apple Valley, Eagan, Eastview, Lakeville North and others.
Key meets for East Ridge this season include intra-district competitions at Park on Jan. 6 and Woodbury on Jan. 20, along with capping the season against perennial powerhouse Roseville on Feb. 10.