After a second-place finish at the Clemenson Invitational at Princeton High School on Jan. 4, the Elks are now ranked 12th in Class 2A.
Elk River (5-1) finished second with a score of 142.50, missing out on first place by less than a point. Perham finished in first place with a score of 142.85.
Head coach Jennifer Bartlett said she is proud of how the Elks performed over the holiday break.
"Most teams only had an invitational over the break on Jan. 4 but the Elks had two Northwest Suburban Conference dual meets and an invite,” Bartlett said. "Our goal is to score a 144.50 by the end of the season, earn a section title and trip to the state tournament, as well as have three to five girls compete at state".
The current season-high score is now 142.50 with the current varsity lineup consisting of only three upperclassmen.
Abby Rekstad finished third on vault with a score of 9.35. Rekstad and Jaelyn Sorenson tied for ninth on bars with a score of 8.55. Rekstad finished second on beam with a score of 9.50.
Uncharacteristic bobbles and falls during their floor event did not help the Elks, but they still performed well. Sorenson tied for fourth with a score of 9.30 and Cadence Martie tied for 10th with a score of 9.15. Sorenson took second place in all-around with a personal-best score of 36.30, while Rekstad finished fourth with a score of 36.10.
Elks defeat Blaine
Blaine (2-2) couldn’t take down the Elks in Northwest Suburban Conference action on Jan. 2. The Elks defeated the Bengals 141.90-133.90.
"I am starting to see the fire ignite in the team,” Bartlett said. “The team understands that the time our scores counts the most is in February [sections]. We are working on how to compete and adding new skills to increase scores and become confident in our abilities. The Elks get many compliments from judges on how clean our routines are. There is an added excitement from the judges when they see us perform and know that we still have not peaked at our potential.”
Rekstad finished first on vault with a score of 9.40. Miranda Schweiger finished second, scoring 9.10 and Sorenson finished third with a score of 8.95. On bars, Sorenson changed up her routine and earned a season-high score of 8.775 for first place. Rekstad was 2nd with 8.60, and Schwieger tied for fourth with 8.175.
Rekstad earned top honors on beam with a 9.30 while Zoey Johnson finished second with a score of 9.25. Emily Dalrymple finished third with 9.025. Rekstad and Sorenson tied for first on floor with both athletes scoring a season-high score of 9.30. Schwieger was fourth with 9.125 points and Dalrymple was fifth with 9.025.
Rekstad earned a career-best on all-around with a 36.60, averaging a score of a 9.15 on each event. Sorenson finished second, earning her best all-around score of 35.575.
Elk River was scheduled to host the reigning Section 5AA champion and currently undefeated Maple Grove (4-0) on Jan. 16.
Bartlett said the meet between the Elks and Crimson will be a good test to see where the Elks will place in their new section. Elk River has not been to the state tournament since 1994. The Elks have been section runner-ups three times since Bartlett has been a head coach. To earn the NWSC championship, the Elks must win against all 10 conference teams.
"We have been moved from Section 8AA to Section 5AA for the next two years and I am excited to be back in this Section. The competition is amazing and we are going to do our best to break the drought of the Elks being at State as a team.”