Tanager gymnasts capture third place at state; By Jim Prosser The Vermillion High School gymnastics team placed third at the state meet in Rapid City Feb. 18-19.
The team total was 129.198, behind Madison at 140.082 in first place, and Wagner at 131.868 in second.
Vermillion was hollowed by Hot Springs, Chamberlain, Milbank, Britton-Hecla, Sisseton and Stanley County.
�We competed very well on team day (Feb. 18),� said Tanager coach Mark Upward. �We really couldn�t have done much better.�
The Tanagers had four falls that counted in their team score.
�Even if we had been perfect with no falls, Wagner would have outscored us,� Upward said. �Wagner had five seniors competing and they had their minds set that they would finish second at state.�
Amy Mart came through with a no-fall beam routine (7.750) on team day to get the Tanagers started. From there, the Tanagers were led by Sarah Christopherson�s beam score of 8.85, followed by Ariel Hofman (8.4), Tristen Upward (7.7), and DeNell Dykstra (4.517).
The Tanagers next went to vault where all of the Tanagers had excellent vaults. Ariel Hofman led the Tanagers with an 8.817 handspring full vault, followed by Christopherson (8.683), Bethany Sand (7.8), Raychel Lorenz (7.567), and Upward (7.433).
The Tanagers were led on the uneven bars on team day by Hofman�s 8.333. Other Tanagers on the bars were Christopherson (8.083), Calle Sorensen (7.750), Emily Renner (7.383), and Lorenz (7.333).
Going into the final event, floor exercise, the Tanagers trailed Wagner by .552 points. The Tanagers were led on floor by Hofman�s score of 8.983. The rest of the Tanagers on floor were Upward (7.783), Christopherson (7.733), Lorenz (7.583) and Tia Krier (7.317).
On individual day, Feb. 19, the Tanagers did well to place several in the top 20 to earn a medal at state. The top performance for the Tanagers came on vault where Hofman scored a 9.283. Hofman�s performance was the best of the field of 43 vaulters to earn her the top spot on the podium.
Hofman finished third in the All-Around competition with a score of 35.450, third on beam (8.717), second on floor (9.117), and sixth on bars (8.333).
Senior Christopherson had a third place finish in the uneven parallel bars (8.767) for her top performance and finished ninth in the All-Around competition with a score of 32.766. Christopherson was 16th on floor (8.433), 30th on beam (6.833) and seventh on vault (8.733).
Both Hofman and Christopherson were selected for the All Tournament Team at the 2005 State Gymnastics team.
Other individual place finishers were:
Beam � Upward placed sixth with a score of 8.233.
Floor exercise � Lorenz placed 30th with a score of 7.833.
Vault � Sand placed 29th with a score of 8.217.
Uneven parallel bars � Lorenz placed 17th with a score of 7.883; Sorensen placed 26th with a score of 7.650; Renner placed 29th with a score of 7.367.