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Gymnasts expect to be competitive

Emily Klingenberg will provide leadership as the lone senior on this year's Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team.

The return of the two leading all-around performers and six other performers from the Section 8A meet should make the Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team even more competitive this season.

Senior Emily Klingenberg and junior Jessi Andersen give the Panthers two solid all-around gymnasts and leaders. Both had all-around averages above 29.00 and shared Most Valuable Gymnast honors last season.

Also returning from last year's section team are sophomores Kayla Johnk and Savannah Gatewood; freshmen Sarena Kinkel and Amy Klein; and eighth graders Kayla Andersen and Sarah Harshman.

That group will be looking to improve on the Panthers' team average of 104.00 and averages of 32.18 in vault, 25.13 on balance beam, 24.66 in floor exercise and 22.04 on uneven parallel bars. Park Rapids' top team score last season was a 112.90 at the Mid-State Conference meet while the Panthers ended the season with a 109.125 for sixth place at the section meet. The Panthers' top event marks were 33.65 in vault, 29.50 on beam, 28.325 in floor and 24.55 on bars.

Klingenberg was the only gymnast to compete in all 12 meets last season and finished as the Panthers' No. 2 all-arounder with a 29.08 average, including a top all-around score of 30.40. At the section meet, Klingenberg finished 13th in vault, 20th on bars, 22nd on beam, 25th in floor and 18th in all-around. Klingenberg had the team's top averages on beam (7.26), in floor (6.91) and on bars (6.68) and shared the top average in vault (8.28). Klingenberg had the team's high scores in vault (8.50) and on beam (8.50) while adding season-high marks of 7.45 in floor and 6.90 on bars en route to earning all-conference honors.

Jessi Andersen led the Panthers with a 29.46 all-around average, including a high of 30.20. Andersen capped off the season by placing 17th in floor, 19th in vault, 20th on beam, 21st on bars and 14th in all-around at the section meet. Andersen led the Panthers in floor with a 7.44 average and a high of 8.05 and shared the team's high average in vault with an 8.28 and a high of 8.40. Andersen had the high mark on bars with a 7.70 and an average of 6.53 while posting a 7.21 average on beam with a high of 7.80. Andersen, who missed four meets with a wrist injury, earned all-conference honorable mention honors.

Johnk finished with averages of 7.63 in vault, 5.60 in floor, 4.13 on beam, 3.69 on bars and 21.15 in all-around in seven varsity meets. Johnk ended the season by placing 28th in vault and 32nd in floor at the section meet. Johnk had high marks of 7.90 in vault, 6.375 in floor, 4.75 on bars, 4.45 on beam and 22.25 in all-around.

Kinkel was a section competitor in three events, placing 27th in vault, 28th on beam and 29th on bars. In seven varsity meets, Kinkel compiled averages of 7.98 in vault with a high of 8.20, 6.13 on beam with a high of 6.25 and 4.28 on bars with a high of 5.20.

Kayla Andersen was also a section competitor in three events, placing 30th in floor, 32nd on beam and 32nd on bars. Andersen competed in at least one event in eight varsity meets and had highs of 7.70 in vault, 7.15 in floor, 5.85 on beam and 3.325 on bars with averages of 6.18 in floor and 4.93 on beam.

Gatewood placed 29th in floor at the section meet to finish the season with a 6.24 average and a high of 7.00 in eight meets in that event. Gatewood also had a 3.80 on beam in her only varsity appearance in that event.

Klein had a 3.75 on bars to finish 31st at the section meet in her only varsity appearance in that event. Klein also had high marks of 7.60 in vault, 6.05 in floor and 5.00 on beam in her only varsity appearances in those events.

Harshman rounded out the Panthers' section squad by placing 30th in vault. Harshman had a high of 7.85 with an average of 7.60 in vault in seven varsity meets.

Four other gymnasts return with some varsity experience. Junior Tiffeny Hansen posted averages of 6.18 (with a high of 6.625) in floor and a 3.78 average (with a high of 4.05) on bars in three varsity meets. Hansen also had a 4.25 on beam and a 7.60 in vault for a 21.90 all-around score. Sophomore Taylor Drury received a 4.05 in her only varsity appearance on bars. Freshman Kendra Anderson had a 5.35 in her only varsity appearance on beam. Freshman Kylee Roy had a 3.35 average with a high of 3.70 in two varsity meets on bars.

Starting the season on junior varsity will be junior Jordan Bynum; sophomore Samantha Harshman; freshmen Lindsey Girtz and Nicole Eischens; eighth graders Jordan Hochstatter and Talya Smith; and seventh grader Alexis Felt.

"I expect us to do better than last year," said Park Rapids head coach Wendi Hartig. "I look for us to be competitive and score in the 120s. I think we'll have a good season."