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Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team entering rebuilding season

It's going to be a rebuilding season for the Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team.

The Panthers return only three gymnasts who were regulars on the varsity squad last season. Those three veterans - juniors Taylor Drury and Kayla Johnk and sophomore Amy Klein - will be counted on to lead the Panthers this season.

Drury competed in all-around in six meets last season, averaging a 24.42 with a high of 26.50. Drury had averages of 7.69 in vault, 6.60 in floor exercise, 5.39 on uneven parallel bars and 4.45 on balance beam. Drury's high marks were 7.95 in vault, 7.20 in floor, 6.40 on bars and 5.10 on beam.

Johnk was an all-around competitor in five varsity meets a year ago, averaging a 22.90 with a high of 24.60. Johnk had averages of 7.72 in vault, 5.89 in floor, 4.57 on bars and 4.52 on beam with high marks of 7.95 in vault, 6.30 in floor, 5.60 on beam and 5.10 on bars.

Klein also returns as an all-arounder, averaging a 24.30 in three varsity meets with a high of 25.95. Klein had averages of 7.55 in vault, 6.39 in floor, 5.56 on beam and 4.52 on bars with high marks of 7.65 in vault, 6.70 in floor, 6.50 on beam and 5.20 on bars.

The only other returning gymnast with varsity experience is sophomore Kylee Roy, who had scores of 4.75 and 3.80 on bars.

Rounding out the varsity lineup will be sophomores Nicole Eischens and Lindsey Girtz and freshman Talya Smith.

Starting the season on junior varsity will be sophomores Jovanna Morgan and Rachel Wing; freshmen Chloe Hauth and Jordyn Hochstatter; eighth graders Caelee Lundy, Jasmine Cease, Olivia Fischer and Rachel Konshok; and seventh graders Alex Kirlin, Arrianne Warmbold and Madeline Klein.

"This is definitely going to be a rebuilding year," said Park Rapids head coach Wendi Hartig, who will be assisted by Eric Smith and Rebecca Buhr. "The girls coming back have a lot of drive and are excited to be in the gym. I expect them to improve a lot this year."

The Panthers averaged a 107.54 team score with a high of 113.65 last season. Park Rapids' averages in each event were 31.83 in vault, 27.25 in floor, 24.46 on beam and 24.00 on bars with high marks of 32.70 in vault, 29.45 in floor, 27.35 on beam and 27.15 on bars. At the Section 8A meet, the Panthers finished sixth with a 110.90.

Seven gymnasts, led by Emily Klingenberg (who was the lone senior last season and was the Panthers' MVP after leading the team with a 33.05 all-around average), didn't return from last year's section team.

"I don't know how we're going to do," said Hartig. "We have a lot of young girls with a lot of potential. The girls are working hard. I expect big things out of the girls this season."