Tanagers ‘squeak out’ second at state meet

Tanagers 'squeak out' second at state meet
The Vermillion Tanager gymnastics team squeaked out a second-place finish at the state meet held in Huron on Friday, Feb. 17. Madison finished first again for the 13th consecutive time by scoring 138.369 points to lead the field. The Tanagers finished second with a score of 125.168, only only .088 ahead of Britton's 125.080.

The remaining six teams are Milbank (121.983), Hot Springs (121.284), Chamberlain (121.167), Clark (120.833), Stanley County (120.518), and Wagner (111.585).

The Tanagers were off to a good start as they began the meet on vault. With a team score of 32.801, the Tanagers were headed to a solid team score. The Tanagers' scores used for the team total were Heather Zimmerman, 7.917, Elly Melby, 8.167, Ariel Hofman, 8.850, and Amber Walker, 7.867.

The next event for the Tanagers was the uneven parallel bars. Vermillion had solid uneven bar performances from Raychel Lorenz, 7.775, Hofman, 8.217, Calle Sorensen, 7.6, and Emily Renner, 7.533, which totaled a 31.1 event score.

The only real stumble the Tanagers had all day came in the next event, the beam. The Tanagers had an event score of 29.033. Six of the nine schools competing on team day had a better day on beam than the Tanagers did.

Those competing on beam were Amy Mart, 6.933, Hofman, 8.317, DeNell Dykstra, 6.633, and Upward, 7.150.

"I don't know what it was, but we became apprehensive on beam and it showed. We had way too many falls and just didn't look comfortable on beam," said coach Mark Upward.

The Tanagers finished the meet with a solid performance on floor. The top four Tanagers on floor were Lorenz, 8.127, Hofman, 8.550, Tia Krier, 7.767, and Upward, 7.7.

"We looked okay on team day, but not as sharp as we needed to be any one event. We were very fortunate to hang on for a second-place finish," Upward said.

On individual day, the Tanagers had several gymnasts finish in the top 20 and received a medal for their efforts. Ariel Hofman finished third on floor, third on vault, 10th on bars, 10th on beam, and third in all-around with a score of 33.949. Hofman's third-place finish in the all-around competition earned her All Tournament Honors.

On the uneven parallel bars, the Tanagers' Raychel Lorenz finished in 14th place, Emily Renner 17th and Calle Sorensen in 18th. Tristen Upward finished in 16th place on the balance beam.

"We had a great season this year and showed great improvement from the beginning of the season," Upward said. "We need to set our goals a little higher for next year and then work hard in the off season to reach these goals."

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