In the annual Dana Hunt Invite/Elk River invitational on Saturday, the Elks finished third overall, scoring 137.05 points. The Elks finished behind second-place Anoka and first place Big Lake. Elk River finished third on vault with a score of 33.85, fourth on bars with a score of 33.30, fourth on beam with a score of 34.55 and fourth on vault with a score of 35.35.

Head coach Jennifer Bartlett said the team now knows it has some talent.

“We still scored a 137 and we did not do very well on vault and bars. We came home pretty strong on beam and floor. It’s a great testament to what type of competitors they are. We have to train them on how to be competitive on all four events. They’re still young, and it’s the early part of the season, so we have some time.”

The Dana Hunt Invitational is dedicated to the memory of former Elk River gymnastics coach Dana Hunt, who died in September 1995 after a 3-year battle with cancer. 

Elks take season opener over Coon Rapids

Elk River defeated Coon Rapids 137.5-117.55 on Tuesday. 

Bartlett, who has been coach since the 1997-98 season, says the younger Elks gymnasts were ready to make a splash in their first meet of the season.

“Our team is very young, They were ready to make a name for themselves in the Northwest Suburban Conference,” Bartlett said. “Jumping on Coon Rapids, which is a great competitor, was fantastic. To be able to come out with our season at 137 knowing that we were still about eight points off of where we could be if we were hitting all the time gave them great confidence because they are very young. A lot of them do not know how to compete as a high school competitor. They’re used to USA competitions where they only compete 6 times a year. We compete 16 times a year.”

What’s next

Elk River was scheduled to face Anoka on Thursday at Elk River High School at 7 p.m.

Bartlett said that besides beating Anoka, she wants the Elks to complete the best routines humanly possible.

“When it comes to gymnastics, to score the perfect 10, 4.2 of it is the execution and amplitude that the girl owns in regards to skills. The rest of it is skill level, and that varies from kid to kid. Even a JV kid can get a 9 if their execution is correct. A varsity kid can get a 9.5 if their execution is correct. We keep talking about the 4.2 that they own.”

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