Melby, Walker lead aspiring VHS gymnasts at state meet By Parker Knox
Sportswriter The two oldest members of the team – both sophomores – led the way as Vermillion's young, aspiring gymnasts competed in the state tournament in Rapid City last weekend. "The girls had a great time and were happy to be at state," said Coach Mark Upward. Having earned the right to compete as a full team by placing third in their regional meet, the Tanagers vied in Class "A" team competition Friday. Madison won its 15th consecutive state team championship with Deuel the runner-up and Britton-Hecla third. Vermillion placed ninth with a team score of 111.695. Highlighting Vermillion's day was sophomore Elly Melby's second-place finish on the balance beam where she scored 8.450. She also tied for fifth in vault at 8.983, scored 7.216 on the uneven parallel bars and scored 7.666 in floor exercise to earn an overall 10th place in all-around standings with a 32.315 score. Her comrade and classmate, Amber Walker, tied for ninth in floor exercise at 8.600. She also competed in every event, scoring 8.616 in vault, 7.533 on beam and 6.350 on bars for a 31.099 all-around result. Other VHS scores in the team competition: Alexis Reich, freshman: vault 7.633. Cassie Donahue, freshman: bars 3.066, beam 4.083. Christine Epping, freshman: floor 6.750, vault 7.966. Grace Olson, eighth grader: bars 3.950. Jade Fostvedt, eighth grader: beam 4.683, floor 6.100. Morgan Hower, eighth grader: bars 4.633, vault 7.783. Rory Tucker, eighth grader: beam 5.416, floor 7.100. On Saturday, Walker and Melby competed in the "A" individual events, having earned that right by placing high enough at the regional. Walker's all-around total was 30.782, good for 19th place in the state. Melby was 26th at 30.116. Walker tied for 41st on beam at 6.283, placed 12th in floor exercise at 8.633, was 21st on bars at 7.4 and finished 23rd in vault at 8.466. Melby was 10th in vault at 8.75, 30th on beam at 6.85, 39th in floor at 7.783, and 37th on bars at 6.733.