Park gymnastics: Wolfpack earns bronze at state meetThe Park gymnastics team took third place in the Class AA state meet with a season-high 149.825 on Friday, Feb. 25, at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion, matching its finish the last time the Wolfpack reached the state meet – in the 2006-07 season.
By: Patrick Johnson, South Washington County Bulletin
The Park gymnastics team took third place in the Class AA state meet with a season-high 149.825 on Friday, Feb. 25, at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion, matching its finish the last time the Wolfpack reached the state meet – in the 2006-07 season.
Northfield won the Class AA team state championship for a second-straight season with a 150.400. Fellow Suburban East Conference foe Roseville took second place with a 150.1.
Park senior Tessa Sikich competed in the state meet in 06-07 as an eighth-grader. She said Park showed what it was capable of at this year’s meet.
“We’re so excited,” Sikich said. “We were so relived that we made it here, we could actually have a lot of fun. This state meet was a lot about experience and memories and being able to capture everything. This is something we’re going to remember the rest of your life.”
Park’s highest score of the meet was in the vault, where it scored a 38.4. The Wolfpack also scored a 38.325 in the floor exercise, a 37.050 in the uneven bars and a 36.050.
“We went four-for-four in my opinion,” Sikich said. “We had a couple little things here and there, but overall we did really well. I think starting on beam helped us, so we could get one of our scary events out of the way and have some fun.”
Park’s top eight gymnasts this year were underclassmen. Baylee Erickson is a junior, Kasondra Tulloch and Rachel Deephouse and McKay Zurn are sophomores, Kelly McKenzie, Allie Minogue and Sarah LaBrosse are freshman and Sarah Schank is an eighth-grader.
With all of the girls that competed, being in their first state meet, Park head coach Mark Sikich said he didn’t know how his young team would react to being in the state meet.
“They responded extremely well,” coach Sikich said. “I’m just so proud of them. Our fans, the busloads of kids that came were incredible. For the school to be behind them so much it is unbelievable. I’m kind of speechless right now, the kids did such an outstanding job.”
Coach Sikich, who is in his 29th year overall with the Park program, said he was returning at least one more year.
“I’m going to do another year next year,” he said. “That’ll be an even 30. Then we’ll see what happens.”
Sikich said he believed it wouldn’t take long for Park to return to state.
“I think we have a group of young ladies here that can make a strong run,” he said. “Northfield and Roseville are young, too, so we’re all in the same boat. It’s going to be incredible.”
The state meet concludes with the Class AA individual meet on Saturday, Feb. 26, where Tulloch and Deephouse will compete for state titles in each event, including the all-around.
See the full story and additional photos in the Feb. 30 issue of the Bulletin