Park gymnastics: Wolfpack finish fourth at state meet with 147.3Despite battling numerous injuries over the course of the season, the Park gymnastics team finished in fourth place in the 2011-12 Class AA state meet, nearly matching their finish from last year.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
To quote a marketing campaign from the late 1960s, “You’ve come a long way, baby.”
Despite battling numerous injuries over the course of the season, the Park gymnastics team finished in fourth place in the 2011-12 Class AA state meet, nearly matching their finish from last year.
Park scored a season-high 147.3 as a team in their 14th appearance at the state meet, just back of their 149.825 from last year’s state meet. Roseville won the Class AA state championship with a score of 149.325, edging two-time defending state champion Northfield, which scored 149.150. Park won the state championship in 2004.
This season, Park returned seven of its top eight gymnasts from last year’s team and seemed destined for greater things. However, with a number of key gymnasts sidelined with injuries, Park limped through the 2011-12 season, hitting a low roughly a month ago, losing to Mounds View 135.8 to 122.9 on Thursday, Jan. 26.
But, with a number of key gymnasts returning to the mat, Park scored a 144.45 and edged Suburban East Conference and district 833 rival East Ridge last week to earn the Section 3AA championship and a second-straight state meet berth.
At state, Park’s high score came on the floor exercise, where it registered a 37.525. Park also scored a 37.450 on the vault, a 36.30 on the bars and a 36.025 on the beam.
Park junior Kasondra Tulloch led the way for the Wolfpack at state. Her all-around performance would have netted a 38.125. Tulloch, who finished in second place in the all-around last season with a 38.375, scored a 9.750 on the bars, a 9.725 in the floor exercise, a 9.625 in the vault and a 9.025 on the beam.
Park junior Rachel Deephouse, who finished third in the all-around last year with a 38.3, fought through a back injury that kept her out for two months this season to score a 9.575 in the floor exercise, a 9.45 in the vault, a 9.150 on the beam, a 9.0 on the bars for a 37.175 all-around score.
Other top scores by Park were turned in by junior McKay Zurn with a 9.425 in the floor exercise, a 9.275 by sophomore Sarah LaBrosse in the vault, a 9.1 by senior Hayley Van Pelt in the vault and a 9.050 by sophomore Michaela Thielfoldt in the vault.
Tulloch, Deephouse and freshman Sarah Schank will compete in Saturday’s individual round of the Class AA gymnastics state championship. However, Park must now say good-bye to four seniors – Hannah Schroeder, Van Pelt, Jordan Arganbright and Baylee Erickson.
See the full story in the Feb. 29 issue of the Bulletin