Injuries hindered gymnasts' success
Even though the Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team battled through another year of injuries, the Panthers did show improvement over last season.
The Panthers had their best lineup for only the first two meets of the season. Injuries kept the Panthers from putting together their best lineup the rest of the way as no gymnast was able to compete in all 11 meets.
The Panthers opened the season with a 125.75 to 112.05 loss to Bemidji, a 127.75 to 110.40 loss to Little Falls and a 137.95 to 111.40 loss to Detroit Lakes.
At the Park Rapids Invitational, the Panthers tallied a 111.35 to finish fourth out of five teams. Bemidji won the title with a 132.60.
After a 141.00 to 104.925 loss to Perham, the Panthers won the Bronze Division at the Moorhead Invitational with a 104.575. Park Rapids followed with a 109.10 to 102.10 victory over Frazee.
Park Rapids closed the regular season with losses to Detroit Lakes (137.95 to 113.65), Long Prairie-Grey Eagle (126.10 to 104.225) and Bemidji (130.65 to 90.35) to end with a 1-7 record in dual meets.
At the Section 8A meet, the Panthers finished sixth out of eight teams with a 110.90. Perham won the section title for the 10th year in a row with a 144.70. Perham had its streak of winning eight straight state Class A titles end with a fourth-place finish.
Perham was rated No. 3 (with a 143.675 average), Detroit Lakes was rated No. 4 (with a 143.667 average) and Bemidji was rated No. 18 (with a 134.075 average) in the final state Class A poll. Melrose finished first with a 149.292 average and won the state Class A title.
For the season, the Panthers had team averages of 31.83 in vault, 27.25 in floor exercise, 24.46 on balance beam and 24.00 on uneven parallel bars for a 107.54 average team score. That compared to a 104.00 average team score last year and averages of 32.18 in vault, 24.66 in floor, 25.13 on beam and 22.04 on bars.
The Panthers' high team score was a 113.65 against Detroit Lakes. Park Rapids' high team score last season was a 112.90. The Panthers had season highs of 32.70 in vault, 29.45 in floor, 27.35 on beam and 27.15 on bars.
Leading the Panthers this season were senior Emily Klingenberg; junior Jessi Andersen; sophomores Kayla Johnk, Taylor Drury and Savannah Gatewood; freshmen Kendra Anderson, Sarena Kinkel, Amy Klein and Kylee Roy; and eighth graders Kayla Andersen and Sarah Harshman.
Klingenberg was the Panthers' top all-around performer with a 30.33 average in eight meets. Klingenberg, who missed two meets because of injury, posted averages of 8.46 in vault, 7.56 in floor, 7.26 on beam and 7.11 on bars with highs of 8.95 on beam, 8.725 in vault, 8.30 in floor, 7.60 on bars and 33.05 in all-around. Klingenberg capped off her senior season by placing 18th in all-around, 20th in vault, 21st on bars, 28th on beam and 30th in floor at the section meet.
Jessi Andersen competed in only four meets because of a concussion. Andersen was second on the team in all-around with a 30.19 average and a high of 30.95. In four meets, Andersen had averages of 8.34 in vault, 7.55 on beam, 7.46 in floor and 6.84 on bars with highs of 8.45 in vault, 8.00 in floor and on beam, and 7.90 on bars. At the section meet, Andersen was 14th in all-around, 17th on beam and floor, 24th in vault and 31st on bars.
Drury was a varsity all-around competitor in six meets, posting an average of 24.42 with a high of 26.50. Drury also had averages of 7.69 in vault in seven meets, 6.60 in floor in six meets, 5.39 on bars in 10 meets and 4.45 on beam in six meets. Drury's high scores were 7.95 in vault, 7.20 in floor, 6.40 on bars and 5.10 on beam. Drury placed 28th on bars and 34th in vault at the section meet.
Johnk, who competed in all-around in five varsity meets, competed on beam in eight meets, on bars and vault in seven meets, and in floor in six meets. Johnk had averages of 7.72 in vault, 5.89 in floor, 4.57 on bars and 4.52 on beam with highs of 7.95 in vault, 6.30 in floor, 5.60 on beam and 5.10 on bars. Johnk had a 22.90 average in all-around with a high of 24.60. At the section meet, Johnk finished 31st in vault and 36th in floor.
Gatewood was a varsity competitor in floor and on beam in seven meets and in vault in six meets. Gatewood compiled a 7.71 average in vault with a high of 8.15, a 7.09 average in floor with a high of 7.50 and a 5.89 average on beam with a high of 6.30. At the section meet, Gatewood finished 29th in floor and 31st on beam.
Kinkel was a varsity all-around performer in three varsity meets, finishing with a 26.68 average with a high of 27.65. Kinkel had a 7.92 average in vault in six meets, a 7.13 average in floor in three meets, a 6.43 average on beam in three meets and a 5.07 average on bars in eight meets. Kinkel's high scores were 8.15 in vault, 7.55 in floor, 7.40 on beam and 6.45 on bars. At the section meet, Kinkel placed 31st on bars.
Klein also competed in all-around in three varsity meets, posting a 24.30 average with a high of 25.95. Klein had a 7.55 average in vault in four meets, a 6.39 average in floor in four meets, a 5.56 average on beam in six meets and a 4.52 average on bars in five meets. Klein's top scores were 7.65 in vault, 6.70 in floor, 6.40 on beam and 5.20 on bars. Klein also competed at the section meet, placing 35th on beam.
Harshman competed in four varsity meets in vault, finishing with a 7.12 average and a high of 7.70. Harshman placed 33rd in vault at the section meet.
Anderson was a varsity competitor in floor in two meets and had scores of 5.55 and 6.20.
Roy competed in two varsity meets on bars, receiving scores of 4.75 and 3.80.
Team awards went to Klingenberg (Most Valuable and Most Dedicated), Jessi Andersen (Most Valuable), Drury (Most Improved and Best Attitude), Gatewood (Best Attitude), Johnk (Most Spirited) and Anderson (Most Spirited).
The Panthers will have to replace Klingenberg's spot in all four events. However, head coach Wendi Hartig is counting on the return of 10 varsity competitors and the addition of some junior varsity gymnasts to lead to another improved season next year.