Panthers looking for steady progress

With eight varsity athletes returning, Wendi Hartig is looking for another consistent season from the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis gymnastics team this winter.

Senior leaders
Seniors (from top) Kylee Roy, Lindsey Girtz and Nicole Eischens return to lead the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis gymnastics team this season.

     With eight varsity athletes returning, Wendi Hartig is looking for another consistent season from the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis gymnastics team this winter.

     Returning from last year’s varsity team are seniors Nicole Eischens, Lindsey Girtz and Kylee Roy; junior Talya Smith; sophomores Jasmine Cease and Olivia Fischer; and eighth graders Andrea Dudley and Katie Eischens.

     That group helped the Panthers surpass 100 points in all nine meets last season, including a season high of 117.475 and a 108.15 to place seventh at the Section 8A meet.

     The Panthers have four key spots to fill with the graduation of Taylor Drury and Kayla Johnk and the loss of Amy Klein (who is not competing this season because of injuries) and Fenja Boesch (who was a foreign exchange student).

     Boesch was the Panthers’ top gymnast last season with averages of 8.37 in vault, 7.88 in floor exercise and 6.99 on balance beam for a 30.30 all-around average. Klein was the only gymnast to compete in all-around in all nine meets and had averages of 7.81 in vault, 6.73 in floor, 6.59 on beam and 5.13 on bars with a 26.26 all-around average. Drury had averages of 8.15 in vault, 6.79 on bars, 6.10 on beam and 5.84 in floor for a 27.28 all-around average while Johnk had a 7.43 average in vault and 6.34 average on floor while missing most of the season with injuries.


     Looking to help fill those spots will be sophomores Rachel Konshok and Caroline Drury; freshmen Alex Kirlin Alissa McCarty, Arianne Warmbold, Madelin Klein, Caitlin Tollefson and Zabdi Tovar; eighth graders Alexandra Hoff, Shelby Leckner, Brianna Nelson, Erin Tooker and Samantha Frakke; and seventh graders DeAndrea Duke and Shannon McGrath.

     Nicole Eischens finished 34th in floor and 30th on beam at the section meet. Eischens competed in all nine meets and tallied averages of 6.43 on beam and 6.42 in floor with high marks of 7.20 on beam and 7.20 in floor.

     Girtz finished 35th on bars at the section meet and compiled averages of 7.66 in vault, 4.99 on beam and 3.60 on bars. Girtz’s top scores were 7.95 in vault, 5.85 on beam and 4.30 on bars.

     Roy placed 28th on bars and 33rd in floor at the section meet. Roy also competed in all nine events, finishing the season with a 5.54 average on bars with a high of 6.50.

     Fischer capped off the season by placing 29th in vault, 35th on beam and 34th on bars at the section meet. Fischer had a 6.31 average on beam, 4.32 average on bars and 8.02 average in vault. Fischer’s top scores were 7.50 on beam, 4.90 on bars, 8.10 in vault and 5.70 in floor.

     Katie Eischens returns after placing 22nd in floor and 26th on beam at the section meet. Eischens had the second best averages of 7.14 in floor and 6.59 on beam while adding posting high marks of 7.80 in floor and 7.40 on beam.

     Also back with some varsity experience are Smith (who had a high of 5.55 in floor), Dudley (who had a high of 8.00 in vault) and Cease (who had a high of 3.20 on bars).

     “We have a lot of strong gymnasts returning and a lot of young girls who will see improvement,” said Hartig, who will be assisted by Rebecca Buhr, Cyrus Gust and Collin Dvorak. “We’re shooting for a 120 team score. The girls are working hard. We’re going to keep working to improve our skills and get our scores higher.”

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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