Gymnasts show major improvement
Wendi Hartig saw major improvement from the Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team this season.
After failing to reach 100 points last season, the Panthers surpassed that mark in all nine meets this season. Despite going 0-6 in dual meets, Park Rapids showed major improvement in all four events.
The Panthers opened the season with a 133.30 to 102.05 loss to Bemidji and a 145.30 to 104.65 loss to Detroit Lakes.
At the Moorhead Invitational, the Panthers finished third in the Bronze Division with a 112.45 and followed by placing fourth at the four-team Park Rapids Invitational with a 107.95. Bemidji took first with a 135.40.
Park Rapids closed out the regular season with a 118.85 to 111.50 loss to Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, a 149.825 to 117.475 loss to Detroit Lakes, a 138.925 to 106.15 loss to Bemidji and a 145.20 to 105.10 loss to Perham.
At the Section 8A meet, the Panthers compiled a 108.15 to finish seventh in the seven-team field. Detroit Lakes won the section title with a 148.425 to end Perham’s 11-year run as section champs. Detroit Lakes went on to finish third at the state Class A meet and ended the season rated No. 3 in the state with a 148.567 average. Perham was rated No. 5 with a 145.342 average.
For the season, the Panthers had averages of 32.02 in vault, 27.38 in floor exercise, 26.31 on balance beam and 22.68 on uneven parallel bars for a 108.39 team average. Park Rapids’ high marks were 33.225 in vault, 28.80 in floor, 28.90 on beam and 25.90 on bars. Last year, the Panthers had averages of 30.90 in vault, 24.75 in floor, 21.12 on beam and 18.41 on bars and had a high team score of 98.10.
Leading the Panthers this season were the 14 gymnasts who competed in at least one varsity meet. That group featured seniors Taylor Drury and Kayla Johnk; juniors Amy Klein, Fenja Boesch, Kylee Roy, Lindsey Girtz and Nikki Eischens; sophomores Madisen Wagner and Talya Smith; freshmen Olivia Fischer, Sarah Gorder and Jasmine Cease; and seventh graders Andrea Dudley and Katie Eischens.
That group closed out the season with a 32.00 in vault, a 27.30 in floor, a 26.40 on beam and a 22.45 on bars at the section meet.
Leading the Panthers at the section meet were Drury (26th), Fischer (29th), Johnk (32nd), Klein (33rd) and Gorder (34th) in vault; Katie Eischens (22nd), Klein (32nd), Roy (33rd), Nikki Eischens (34th) and Drury (35th) in floor; Klein (25th), Katie Eischens (26th), Nikki Eischens (30th), Drury (34th) and Fischer (35th) on beam; and Drury (26th), Roy (28th), Klein (30th), Fischer (34th) and Girtz (35th) on bars. Klein finished 17th and Drury was 18th in all-around.
Boesch, a foreign-exchange student from Germany, made an immediate impact by leading the team with an 8.37 average in vault, a 7.88 average in floor, a 6.99 average on beam and a 30.30 all-around average while finishing second with a 6.06 average on bars. Boesch had high marks of 8.50 in vault, 8.30 in floor, 7.70 on beam, 7.25 on bars and 31.65 in all-around. Boesch missed the final three meets with a knee injury.
Klein was the only gymnast to compete in all nine meets in all-around, finishing second with a 6.73 average in floor, a 6.59 average on beam and a 26.26 all-around average. Klein also had averages of 7.81 in vault and 5.13 on bars with high marks of 8.15 in vault, 7.60 in floor, 7.40 on beam, 5.70 on bars and 27.65 in all-around.
Drury competed in vault and on bars in eight meets and in floor in six meets, leading the team with a 6.79 average on bars and finishing second with an 8.15 average in vault. Drury also had averages of 6.10 on beam and 5.84 in floor and had a high all-around score of 27.95 in two meets. Drury’s top marks were 8.45 in vault, 7.10 on bars, 6.70 in floor and 6.40 on beam.
Katie Eischens was second on the team with a 7.14 average in floor and a 6.59 average on beam. Eischens competed in six meets in floor with a high of 7.80 and five meets on beam with a high of 7.40. Eischens also had a 4.65 in her only varsity appearance on bars.
Nikki Eischens competed in all nine varsity meets on beam and floor. Eischens had a 6.43 average on beam with a high of 7.20 and a 6.42 average in floor with a high of 7.20.
Johnk missed most of her senior season with an injury, but was able to compete in four meets in floor and three meets in vault. Johnk had a 7.43 average in vault with a high of 7.80 and a 6.34 average in floor with a high of 7.00.
Roy competed in nine varsity meets on bars, tallying a 5.54 average with a high of 6.50. Roy also competed in one varsity meet in floor (with a 6.40) and on beam (with a 5.90).
Fischer was a member of the Panthers’ beam team in seven meets, compiling a 6.31 average and a high of 7.50. Fischer also competed in five varsity meets on bars with an average of 4.32 and a high of 4.90 and in three varsity meets in vault with an average of 8.02 and a high of 8.10. Fischer also had a 5.70 in her only varsity appearance in floor for a 24.75 all-around score.
Girtz was a varsity competitor in three events, tallying a 7.66 average (with a high of 7.95) in five meets in vault, a 4.99 average (with a high of 5.85) in five meets on beam and a 3.60 average (with a high of 4.30) in two meets on bars.
Wagner competed in four varsity meets in vault, finishing with an 8.09 average and a high of 8.325.
Also seeing some varsity action this season were Smith (with a high of 5.55 in two meets in floor), Dudley (with a high of 8.00 in three meets in vault), Gorder (with high marks of 7.675 in vault and 2.50 on bars) and Cease (with a 3.20 in her only appearance on bars).