Melby, Walker lead VHS gymnasts By Parker Knox
Sports Writer Elly Melby placed second in the all-around standings and Amber Walker was eighth to highlight Vermillion's participation in its own Winter Wonderland gymnastics tournament Dec. 30. Britton-Hecla won a tight battle for the team title in the 10th annual meet with 124.4 points, followed by Stanley County's 119.95 and Milbank's 115.65. Rounding out the field were Chamberlain with 112.9 points, Wagner with 112.85, Vermillion with 109 and West Central with 102.95. Ramy Hagen of Britton-Hecla won the all-around title with 33.2 points, followed by Melby with 32.1. Walker's all-around score was 29.5. Hagen was a co-winner of the floor exercise with Lexi Lopour, Stanley County, at 9.25. Melby was fifth at 8.6 and Walker tied for eighth at 8.3. In the vault, which was won by Wagner's Jessica Koupal, Melby was second with an 8.6 score. Lopour placed first on the bars with an 8.15 performance. Melby placed eighth with a 7.0 score. Stanley County's Shelby Gienger won the beam at 8.1, and Melby placed fourth at 7.9. "I was very pleased with our performance," VHS coach Mark Upward declared. "Both Elly and Amber had an excellent meet, and our younger gymnasts are coming along really well. It seems like every meet we have our seventh and eighth grade gymnasts improving their scores." After hosting West Central Thursday night, the Tanagers make the long trip to Fort Pierre for Stanley Countys invitational Saturday and go to perennial state champion Madison for a dual Tuesday.