Gymnastics: Park Rapids-Nevis made solid improvements during 2022-23 season

Halle Landstrom qualifying for state capped off a successful season for the Panthers and first-year head coach Katie Eischens.

Halle Landstrom was the Panthers' top all-around gymnast during the 2022-23 season, capping off her senior season by qualifying for state in floor exercise and vault while breaking school records in both events.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

When Halle Landstrom qualified for the Class A meet in two events, it marked the first time in 14 years that the Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team had been represented at state.

The Park Rapids senior performed well in vault and floor exercise in her state debut to put the finishing touches on another successful season for the Panthers.

Landstrom became the first Park Rapids-Nevis gymnast to advance to state since Micah Richards qualified on balance beam in 2009. Landstrom capped off her senior season by tying for 14th place with a 9.35 in floor and placing 37th with a 9.025 in vault in her state debut. Landstrom set school records in both events during the season.

“The state experience was amazing. Halle put up some great routines at state,” said first-year head coach Katie Eischens. “Her floor was especially impressive as most athletes who placed above and/or around her were veterans at the state competition, but it was her very first appearance. Halle received the honor of making the all-state team on floor and the all-state honorable mention team on vault, beam and all-around.”

Landstrom’s efforts at state concluded a season that saw the Panthers go 1-4 in dual meets, post three runner-up finishes at invitational meets and place sixth at the seven-team Section 8A meet.


Morgan Koppelman competed in all-around in all 10 meets for the Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team during the 2022-23 season.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Park Rapids-Nevis opened the season with a 136.00-122.80 loss to Detroit Lakes and a 131.40-125.40 loss to Bemidji before defeating Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 119.20-98.175. After a 136.65-127.70 loss to Perham, the Panthers finished second with a 124.80 behind Fergus Falls’ 131.10 at the three-team Park Rapids Invitational and tallied a season best 127.80 to finish behind Bemidji’s 139.15 at the five-team Moorhead Invitational.

After Bemidji posted a 135.425-126.525 win, the Panthers ended the regular season by scoring a 126.05 to trail Detroit Lakes’ 140.975 and Alexandria’s 129.75 during a triangular meet at Park Rapids and a 127.275 to finish behind Perham’s 135.40 and ahead of Little Falls’ 127.10 at a triangular meet at Perham.

At the Section 8A meet, the Panthers compiled 127.125 points to finish sixth as Detroit Lakes repeated as section champs with a 147.125. The Lakers, who tallied a season high team score in earning their 11th overall trip to state (including seven in the last nine years), ended up earning runner-up honors at state with a 146.15 to trail only Big Lake’s 147.65. Following Detroit Lakes in the section team standings were Melrose (143.00), Perham/New York Mills (136.90), Fergus Falls (135.925) and Little Falls (127.525). Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville rounded out the seven-team field with a 98.325. Detroit Lakes was rated No. 2 in the state Class A poll with a 144.425 average. Also listed in the state poll were Melrose at No. 3 (143.067), Perham at No. 14 (134.95) and Fergus Falls at No. 18 (134.35).

Grace Officer competed as an all-around performer in seven meets for the Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team during the 2022-23 season.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

For the season, the Panthers averaged a 125.47 team score with averages of 34.11 in vault, 32.65 in floor, 30.77 on beam and 27.96 on uneven parallel bars. Park Rapids-Nevis’ high event scores were a 35.375 in vault that tied the school record set during the 2019-20 season, a 34.55 on floor, a 32.05 on beam and a 29.825 on bars.

Leading the Panthers this season were the eight section competitors: Landstrom and fellow senior Morgan Koppelman; sophomores Emma Berghuis, Natalie Berghuis, Erin Hansen and Laney Vrieze; freshman Grace Officer; and eighth grader Emily Lindow.

The Panthers’ best event at sections was vault with a 34.05 behind Landstrom (tied for fifth with a 9.025), Koppelman (tied for 22nd with an 8.50), Emma Berghuis (28th with an 8.30) and a pair of 8.05s to share 29th place by Natalie Berghuis and Officer.

Emma Berghuis competed as an all-around performer in four meets during the 2022-23 season, including at the Section 8A meet.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Following Landstrom’s 9.175 to tie for fourth place on floor were Koppelman (18th with an 8.35), Officer (27th with a 7.80), Emma Berghuis (31st with a 7.40) and Hansen (34th with a 6.15) for a 32.725 team score.

On balance beam, the Panthers received a 30.525 behind Landstrom (12th with an 8.775), Koppelman (tied for 14th with an 8.55), Natalie Berghuis (26th with a 7.05), Emma Berghuis (30th with a 6.15) and Lindow (31st with a 5.85).


Koppelman led the Panthers on uneven parallel bars by placing 16th with an 8.05. Landstrom (17th with a 7.90), Officer (26th with a 7.15), Vrieze (28th with a 6.725) and Emma Berghuis (29th with a 6.475) completed Park Rapids-Nevis’ 29.825 team score.

Natalie Berghuis concluded the 2022-23 season by competing at the Section 8A meet in vault and balance beam.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Landstrom tied for sixth in all-around with a 35.05, Koppelman was 11th with a 33.45 and Emma Berghuis placed 20th with a 28.325.

Landstrom set school records with a 9.50 in floor and a 9.425 in vault while competing in all 10 meets, including nine in all four events and winning three all-around titles. Landstrom’s other high marks were 9.075 on beam, 8.30 on bars and 35.05 in all-around to finish with averages of 8.06 in floor, 8.92 in vault, 8.38 on beam, 7.75 on bars and 34.16 in all-around.

Koppelman also competed in all 10 meets and was the Panthers’ No. 2 all-around performer with a 32.68 average and a high of 33.45. Koppelman had high marks of 8.95 on beam, 8.80 in floor, 8.70 in vault and 8.10 on bars with averages of 8.51 in vault, 8.32 in floor, 8.13 on beam and 7.70 on bars.

Officer was an all-arounder in seven meets, posting a high of 30.75 and an average of 29.46. Officer had averages of 7.98 in vault (with a high of 8.70), 7.83 in floor (with a high of 8.45), 6.83 on beam (with a high of 7.70) and 6.65 on bars (with a high of 7.15) while competing in all 10 meets.

Emma Berghuis missed three meets with an injury, but competed in all-around four times with an average of 29.15 and a high of 30.325. Berghuis had high marks of 8.95 on beam, 8.75 in vault, 8.15 in floor and 6.475 on bars with averages of 8.49 in vault, 7.71 in floor, 6.88 on beam and 6.04 on bars.

Natalie Berghuis competed in nine varsity meets this season, finishing with averages of 7.52 in vault (with a high of 8.65), 6.21 on beam (with a high of 7.725) and 5.15 on bars (with a high of 5.70).

Emily Lindow rounded out the balance beam squad for the Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team at the 2023 Section 8A meet.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Lindow posted high marks of 8.25 in vault, 7.70 in floor and 7.625 on beam with averages of 8.03 in vault, 6.97 in floor and 6.03 on beam in eight meets.


Vrieze was a member of the bars team in nine meets, having a high of 6.725 and an average of 5.99.

Hansen was a varsity competitor in floor in four meets with an average of 6.68 and a high of 7.80. Hansen also competed on beam and in vault in one varsity meet.

Also seeing some varsity action this season were sophomore Nora Bolton (one meet in vault, on beam and on bars); eighth graders Embry Deshayes (one meet on beam) and Amelia Gravdahl (one meet on bars); and seventh grader MaKenna Maanum (four meets in floor and one meet on beam and in vault).

“I think the season went OK for my first year as head coach. Moving forward, there are definitely things that I plan to change within my coaching, but overall I am very happy with how the girls did,” said Eischens. “With only 12 athletes on the team, we didn’t have very much depth to pull from, but we still managed to put up some decent team scores. The team made some pretty good improvements over the season. Some of our biggest improvements came on bars where the girls added several points worth of difficulty and event requirements to their routines. I’m also very proud of the improvement of some of our JV athletes who went from being almost brand new to gymnastics to competing in multiple events by the end of the season.”

Erin Hansen concluded the 2022-23 season by performing in floor exercise for the Panthers at the Section 8A meet.
Jared Rubado / Forum News Service

The Panthers will have the difficult task of replacing the talent and leadership of Landstrom and Koppelman. However, Eischens is looking for the returning gymnasts to keep improving their skills and put together a competitive team next season.

“Halle and Morgan have been a huge asset to the team, so it’ll definitely be a bit of a rough transition without them. They have been amazing leaders for our team for several years. I am hoping that some of their characteristics rub off onto some of the underclassmen who will become leaders of the team in the future,” said Eischens. “Without their solid scores, our team scores might drop a little bit. Grace and Emma will likely be the ones to take our team’s top all-around spots. We will return seven letterwinners, who with some more experience and practice, should be able to guide the team to scores similar to those that we achieved with Halle and Morgan. I am hoping that some of the talented young athletes from the club program decide to give the high school team a try. I know a few girls have some big personal goals for the future, which include adding difficult skills to routines, gaining strength and scoring higher. I know making it to state is a goal for at least one of the girls.”

KatieEischen s.JPG
First-year head coach Katie Eischens looks on as Emma Berghuis and Morgan Koppelman warm up on the balance beam during a home meet this season.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Park Rapids season high scores

Floor exercise: Landstrom 9.50, Koppelman 8.80, Officer 8.45, E. Berghuis 8.15, Hansen 7.80, Lindow 7.70, Maanum 7.25.

Balance beam: Landstrom 9.075, Koppelman 8.95, E. Berghuis 8.95, Officer 7.70, N. Berghuis 7.725, Lindow 7.625, Hansen 6.55, Bolton 6.40, Maanum 5.40, Deshayes 4.40.

Uneven parallel bars: Landstrom 8.30, Koppelman 8.10, Officer 7.15, Vrieze 6.725, E. Berghuis 6.475, N. Berghuis 5.70, Gravdahl 4.35, Bolton 2.70.

Vault: Landstrom 9.425, E. Berghuis 8.75, Koppelman 8.70, Officer 8.70, N. Berghuis 8.65, Lindow 8.25, Hansen 7.65, Maanum 7.40, Bolton 7.05.

All-around: Landstrom 35.05, Koppelman 33.45, Officer 30.75, E. Berghuis 30.325.

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