Tanager gymnasts take third at Region 2A meet

Tanager gymnasts take third at Region 2A meet
The Vermillion Tanagers were without several of their top gymnasts as they traveled to Wagner for the Region 2A meet on Friday night. The Tanagers were without senior Calle Sorensen, sophomore Sidney Mount and freshman Amber Walker. Walker had already made it as a season qualifier for the state meet based on her all-around scores from the regular season meets.

"Amber strained her quadriceps three days before regions," said coach Upward. "We gave her a couple days more of rest by not competing her at Wagner."

The Tanagers scored 118.45 points on their way to a third place finish. Madison took top honors (139.45 points) followed by Wagner in second place with 122.5 points. Rounding out the team competition was West Central in fourth place with a score of 101.3 points.

The Tanagers started the region meet on floor exercise by scoring 29.725 as a team. Individually, Elly Melby placed sixth on floor with an 8.175. Raychel Lorenz also placed in the top 12 as she placed eighth with a score of 7.95. Rounding out the top four floor scores for Vermillion were Tia Krier (14th, 6.825) and Rory Tucker (15th, 6.775). Jade Fosvedt completed the floor line up for the Tanagers with a 20th place finish with a 4.15.

The Tanagers then moved on to the beam where they were led by senior DeNell Dykstra. Dykstra's no fall routine was good enough to put her in fifth place on the beam. The only other Tanager that placed in the top 12 was Heather Zimmerman (12th, 7.0).

Rounding out the beam scores were Elly Melby (14th, 6.6) and seventh grader Rory Tucker (15th, 6.3). The Tanagers still have not had a meet where they had all beam competitors stick a routine. With one meet left, there's no better time than the state meet for such a feat to happen.

With the two toughest events out of the way, the Tanagers moved on to the vaulting competition. Here the Tanagers were able to place two gymnasts in the top 12. Melby (ninth, 8.3) and Zimmerman (10th, 8.025). Blair Gilkyson (15th, 7.5) and Lorenz (16th, 7.3) finished out the scoring for Vermillion.

From the vault, the Tanagers finished on the uneven parallel bars with a team score of 29.625. Seniors Lorenz and Emily Renner led the Tanagers on bars. Lorenz had a fourth place finish (8.1), while Renner finished in eighth with a score of 7.8. Finishing in 15th and 16th for the Tanagers were Gilkyson (6.125) and Krier (6.05).

With Walker out, only Lorenz and Melby were in the running for state qualifying in the all-around competition. "I really like the in-season qualifying for gymnasts," said coach Upward. "Without that, Amber may not have the opportunity to compete at state." Melby and Lorenz had met the in-season qualifying score also.

The next outing for the Tanagers is the state meet held in Brookings on Feb. 15 and 16. The team competition is Friday at 11 a.m., while the individual competition will be on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Swiftel Center.

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