Park gymnastics: Wolfpack scores 144.2 in winThe Park gymnastics team hit a season-high 144.2 to take first place at the highly competitive Brainerd Holiday Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 18, winning a meet that featured a pair of state-entrant teams.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
The Park gymnastics team hit a season-high 144.2 to take first place at the highly competitive Brainerd Holiday Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 18, winning a meet that featured a pair of state-entrant teams.
Park co-head coach Mark Sikich said he thought the score to be the highest recorded in the state thus far this season, but added he believed Perham and Section 4AA foe Eagan had scores around 144 as well.
“I was so excited for the kids in this meet,” Sikich said. “I didn’t even go into it with out strongest possible lineup. It was a fun meet for our kids. We had a lot of fun team-bonding stuff going on. It was a testament to the depth of our team. Some girls really stepped up with routines that were pretty outstanding. All in all it was pretty fantastic.”
At the seven-team Brainerd invitational, Park outperformed second-place Big Lake, which scored a 139.825 and defending Section 4AA champion Lakeville North, which finished in third place with a score of 136.025 and Class A state entrant Melrose, which finished in fourth place with a score of 135.7, among others.
In the meet, Park set season highs as a team on the bars, on the beam and in the floor exercise. As a team, Park scored a 37.05 in the floor, a 36.25 in the vault, a 35.875 on the bars and a 35.025 on the beam. In every event, Park’s top eight gymnasts were above 8.0 and in the floor exercise, Park’s top four gymnasts all scored over 9.0.
“It was a two-judge format for each event, so it was official and we had some of the best judges in the state there,” Sikich said. “To be how we were scored before Christmas I thought was outstanding.”
Park sophomore Kasondra Tulloch led the way for the Wolfpack, finishing in second place in the all-around competition with a 36.925 — including taking first place on the bars with a 9.6, first in the vault with a 9.6 and earning third place in the floor exercise with a 9.425. Additionally, Park sophomore Rachel Deephouse took third in the all-around with a personal season-best 36.9, which included a second-place finish on the bars with a 9.4, a third-place 9.35 in the vault, a fourth-place 8.875 on the beam and a 9.275 in the floor exercise, which was good for sixth place.
Park freshman Kelly McKenzie also earned a first-place finish with her 9.15 score on the beam, took fifth place in the floor with a 9.275 and was seventh place in the vault with an 8.9 score.
Other top scores in the meet were turned in by sophomore McKay Zurn, who was ninth in the floor with a 9.075 and seventh on the beam with an 8.65 score, and freshman Alexandra Minogue, sophomore McKayla Dickmeyer and eighth-grader Sarah Schank, who all scored 8.4 in the vault to tie for 13th overall.
“We had some great performances,” Sikich said. “There is no question we have a lot of work to do on bars and beam, but it was great to see. One of the judges had seen us early on and he came and told me what a wonderful job the kids did and the improvement he felt he saw in a short period of time. That was very encouraging.”
Next, Park is back at home when it plays host to intra-district rival East Ridge on Thursday, Jan. 6, in a Suburban East Conference meet.