The Elks concluded their regular season with their eighth win in a row.
No. 7 Elk River (10-1) defeated Andover 147.45-128.35 on Tuesday, finishing first in all four events plus all-around.
Head coach Jennifer Bartlett said the win gives Elk River more confidence heading into the Section 5-2A tournament next Thursday.
“We have some tough competition that is scoring in the 140s also,” Bartlett said. “Every day, we keep talking about 1/10th at a time. Our score keeps going up. Everybody’s fighting for one more tenth at a time.”
Elk River finished first in vault with a score of 36.975. All five Elks who competed in varsity vault finished with scores above 8.5 and all individuals finished in fifth place or higher. Sophomore Abby Rekstad finished first with a score of 9.475, while Miranda Schweiger finished second with a score of 9.35. Ava Cole finished third, scoring 9.125 points. Jaelyn Sorenson finished fourth with 9.025 points and Cadence Martie finished fifth with a score of 8.65.
Elk River scored 37.775 points on beam, with all five Elk River gymnasts finishing in the top five. Sorenson finished first with a score of 9.525. Rekstad and Zoey Johnson tied for second with a score of 9.425 and Cole finished fourth with a score of 9.4. Martie finished fifth with 9.075 points.
The Elks finished first in bars with a score of 35.475. Four of five Elk River gymnasts finished in the top five. Cole finished first with a score of 8.95. Rekstad finished second with an 8.9, Sorenson received an 8.875 and Schweiger received an 8.75.
The Elks completed their event sweep over the Huskies in floor, earning a score of 37.225 points. Once again, all five Elk River gymnasts finished in the top five. Martie and Rekstad tied for first in the event with a score of 9.375. Sorenson finished third with a score of 9.275. Senior Emily Dalrymple finished fourth with a 9.2 and Johnson finished fifth with 9.05 points.
Rekstad finished first in all-around with a score of 37.175, while Sorenson finished behind her in second with a score of 36.7.
Before the results were announced, both teams honored their senior classes. Dalrymple, Izzy Krivich and Athena Award-winner Corina Sandy were the senior gymnasts Elk River honored. Teammates gave a brief speech highlighting each senior’s contributions to the team over the past four seasons. Bartlett said she was proud to be the Elks’ mama bear, as she is in her second stint as Elk River’s head coach and has been a gymnastics coach since 1997.
“She comes in saying mama bear this, mama bear that,” Krivich said.
Elk River will compete in the Section 5-2A tournament at Champlin Park High School on Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. Elk River hopes to advance to the state tournament for the first time in over a quarter of a century. The last time Elk River made it to the state tournament was in 1994.
Bartlett said she told the team that she was proud of them, but there’s more goals to achieve this season.
“Every day, were searching for that one more tenth to secure that spot that we need to be able to enjoy the state tournament together,” Bartlett said.
If Elk River does clinch a berth in the state tournament, expect the Elks to party like it’s 1994.
Author's note: This story has been edited to include Athena Award-winner Corina Sandy, the third senior who was note included in the original story.