Tanager gymnasts save their best for region meet

Tanager gymnasts save their best for region meet by Jim Prosser The Vermillion Tanagers gymnasts hit their season best score at the regional meet held last Saturday night at the Vermillion High School Gym. The meet had to be postponed from Friday night, Feb. 14, due to the weather. The Tanagers didn't seem to mind the night change as they came out ready to compete. The warm-ups set the tone for the evening as the Tanagers had an exceptional warm-up, hitting all their moves with confidence.

The order of competition saw the Tanagers on floor first. Ariel Begley competed first for the Tanagers, which set the tone for the floor. Begley, competing in only her second varsity meet, scored a career high of 7.0. Tristen Upward followed Begley with a season high of 7.35 points. Katie Connors, nursing an ankle that she sprained two weeks ago, came through with a 7.85. Sarah Christopherson scored an 8.25 on her attempt. Ariel Hofman had a team high score of 8.525 on the floor exercise.

Next up for the Tanagers was the vault competition where the Tanagers scored a 33.45 team score. The Tanagers were led by Christopherson as she scored an 8.6. Hofman followed Christopherson with a score of 8.4. Brittney Gilkyson, throwing a handspring-full vault for the first time in competition, landed a score of 8.3. Connors gave it her all as she hobbled down the vault runway on her way to an 8.15 score.

The uneven parallel bars competition saw the Tanagers score a 31.2 as a team. The team was lead by Hofman, as she scored an 8.075. Christopherson was the next high for the Tanagers, scoring 7.875. Gilkyson (7.8) and Connors (7.45) completed the Tanagers scoring. Theresa Ring performed her season best 6.875 on the bars.

Vermillion had the Region 2A beam champion as Sarah Gregg hit a great routine scoring an 8.765. Hofman (7.85), Upward (7.025), and Connors (6.9) rounded out the beam competition for the Tanagers. The Tanagers had three falls on the beam.

"If we want to be a contender for the state title, we will have to have a perfect beam," said coach Mark Upward. The Tanagers did get three beam sticks on the evening as Upward, Gregg, and Amy Mart had no fall routines.

Vermillion's second region champion was crowned in the All-Around competition. Hofman outscored Madison's Amanda Harmon by 0.103 of a point 32.85 to 32.747 points respectfully. The Tanagers two other all-arounds qualified for the state meet competition also. Sarah Christopherson (31.575) and Katie Connors (30.375) qualified by meeting the qualifying standard of 28.0 points.

"The region results are out for the state and we have the third highest score," said coach Upward. Madison is in first with a 132.63, followed by Milbank with a 128.2.

"Last year we went into the state meet ranked in the eighth spot and finished second," said Upward. "This year we go in with the third best score, you never know!"

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