VHS gymnastics team places second at state

VHS gymnastics team places second at state by Jim Prosser The Tanager gymnastics team placed second in the South Dakota Class A Championships on Friday, Feb. 20 at Swiftel Multiplex Center in Brookings, scoring 125.38 points.

"We started team day on the balance beam, which was a positive opening in that we got the hardest event, for us, out of the way early," said coach Mark Upward. "Madison performed very well on team day and deserved to be state champion."

"I couldn't have been more pleased with our performance," he continued. "We still had some falls on the beam, but to come from seventh to second is a tribute to what these girls can accomplish. We had great performances from everyone on team day, but extra praise must go to Theresa Ring on vault and Raychel Lorenz on bars. Both girls had personal best performances."

Individual competition was on Saturday with medals presented to the top 20 placers in each event.

"Individual day was very difficult for the Tanagers," Upward said. "They had given their all on Friday, and it became a Saturday of working through individual pain."

Vermillion girls were medalists in the following events:

Uneven Bars: Third � Sarah Christopherson; eighth � Brittney Gilkyson; and 10th � Ariel Hofman.

Beam: Fourth � Hofman; 10th � Christopherson; 15th � Sarah Gregg; and 17th � Tristen Upward.

Floor: Sixth � Hofman; and ninth � Chistopherson.

Vault: Second � Hofman; and ninth � Christopherson.

All-around: Fourth � Christopherson; and fifth � Hofman (this qualified them for recognition on the All Tournament Team).

Tanagers who were not medalists but scored well in these events were:

Uneven Bars: Raychel Lorenz � 36th.

Floor: Upward � 30th.

Vault: Gilkyson � 21st.

Coach Upward also wanted to recognize several contributors to the team's success.

"I would really like to express my sincere thanks to Kelly Knutson for her exceptional job as assistant coach, the VHS Booster Club for their financial support, and the parents of Tanager gymnasts for their ongoing support of the high school gymnastics program."

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