VHS gymnasts qualify for state

Vermillions Amber Walker competes on the balance beam during the Region 2A Gymnastics Meet, held Thursday at Vermillion High School. (Photo by David Lias)

Vermillion's gymnasts qualified as a team for the state tournament Friday and Saturday in Watertown by placing second in last Thursday's regional meet at the VHS gym.

The Tanagers registered 131.225 points to place second behind perennial state champion Madison in the team standings. The Bulldogs reached 141.8 total points. Wagner in third place also qualified for the state team competition with 129.425 points. The fourth team in the regional, West Central, failed to qualify with a score of 120.925.

"We had a great region meet," commented Coach Mark Upward. "We achieved both of our goals for the meet. We scored over 130 and placed second."

Upward said that everyone knows Madison and Deuel will be champion and runner-up at the state "A" meet, whether in that order or vice versa, but "we are excited about our chances at state. We have a great chance to finish third behind them. We were last at state in 2009 and 2010, so having a chance to finish third is really exciting for us."

Madison's Lexi Finch and Laura Blom placed one-two in the all-around standings with respective scores of 35.875 and 35.475. Vermillion's Elly Melby was the best of the rest, placing third at 35.125.

Other Tanagers on the all-around scoreboard were Amber Walker, sixth at 33.625, and Jamie Moos, 12th at 29.95.

Melby won an individual championship for Vermillion when she placed first in the vault with a 9.15 score. Walker was third at 9.0, Morgan Hower 12th at 8.35, Moos 13th at 8.2, Cheyenne Mallory 17th at 7.95 and Kanyon Hower 19th at 7.85.

Melby placed third on the balance beam with an 8.55 score. Other Tanagers in that event were Walker, ninth at 7.95; Jade Fostvedt, 12th at 7.5; Moos, 17th at 6.7; Rory Tucker, 20th at 6.375, and Kanyon Hower, 23rd at 5.325.

Melby earned a pair of fifth-place medals, including in the floor exercise competition where she scored 8.925. Walker was right behind in sixth at 8.8. Tucker was 11th, 8.4; Fostvedt 13th, 8.275; Kanyon Hower 18th, 8.025, and Moos 24th, 7.475.

On the uneven parallel bars Melby's fifth-place score was 8.5. Walker placed 11th at 7.875, Moos 13th at 7.575; Morgan Hower 14th at 7.475, Grace Olson 16th at 7.275 and Ellie Glover 20th at 6.35.

The Tanagers and the other 11 "A" teams which qualified for the team competition will begin that phase of the state tournament at 4:30 p.m. today (Friday). The Class "A" individual and all-around championships begin at 5 p.m. Saturday.

In the latter category Melby and Walker qualified in all four events and for the all-around competition although they had also already done so via regular-season scores. In addition, for placing within the top 50 percent of all regional contestants, or places one through 12, Fostvedt will be in the beam event, Tucker in floor exercise and Morgan Hower in vault.

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