Champlin Park gymnastics earned a good gauge to where the team wants to be in a month Jan. 4 during the annual MGGOA Classic meet at Park Center.
The Rebels finished sixth overall with a 139.325 in the Division 1 portion of the meet, which featured four ranked teams. That score was an overall team season PR by a half point.
“The main goal was to represent ourselves well,” coach Jon Wynia said. “We tried to add in some things, and we won probably 70 percent of those battles that we tried to add in.”
Champlin Park is ranked 13th in Class 2A. The competition was top-ranked Lakeville North, 17th-ranked White Bear Lake, 20th-ranked Lakeville South and Class A sixth-ranked Detroit Lakes.
The three unranked teams will most likely be ranked after the meet. Mahtomedi won with a 144, topping Lakeville North (143.3). Maple Grove (140.225) and Mounds View/Irondale (140.025) finished third and fourth. Detroit Lakes (139.875) took fifth.
Maple Grove is one team in section 5AA with the Rebels, and Elk River/Zimmerman and St. Michael-Albertville are two other ranked teams in the section. So this competition prepares the girls for other tough meets on the road to state.
“We feel right in it with section 5AA,” Wynia said. “It is going to be a tough section meet, and we are going to work hard and be ready to compete well.”
Champlin Park still has a high ceiling with a lot to be added in the final month before sections. And there was at least one Rebel on the podium in each event at the MGGOA meet.
The top 10 places earned medals in each event.
Junior Emma Saksa took third on the uneven bars with a 9.175. She also medaled in the all-around with a seventh-place score of 35.975. Junior Tashina Beyioku-Alase tied Saksa for fourth on the floor with a 9.425 and was eighth on the vault with a 9.25.
Junior Kara McElMurry finished eighth on the beam with 9.05.
Saksa added a 12th-place finish on the beam with a 8.825. Beyioku-Alase was 18th on the beam with an 8.675, and Avery Donovan was 19th with an 8.65. Junior Karli Winslade took 22nd with an 8.45.
McElMurry finished 17th on the floor with an 8.85, and sophomore Jordan Smith was 18th with an 8.75. Freshman Alyssa Peddycoart was 17th on the bars with an 8.35, and Smith took 23rd with a 7.85.
“You are going to have falls occasionally on beam or even when you are trying to do those high level flipping vaults,” Wynia said. “So with the first competition back when not having competition for two to three weeks, you are going to probably show a little rust.”
Still Wynia said that McElmurry took a big step forward in the meet. She was a state finalist on the floor and beam a few years back and had to adjust to a six-inch growth spurt.
“To see her out there dancing, she is going to be another dangerous asset,” Wynia said.
Smith is adding a vault by next week, and Beyioku-Alase has a bars routine that can get her into the all-around. Peddycoart is also coming back from an ankle sprain and should provide more points on the beam.
Coaching is a big reason for the success, and it isn’t an easy job. In every meet, the coaches are making adjustments to the bars and vault quickly and helping with equipment.
Wynia said Champlin Park provided the music system for the floor exercise for the MGGOA meet, and it isn’t a light system to carry up stairs.
“It is a lot of work, but they are awesome girls and it is worth it,” he said.
Maple Grove senior Nadia Abid won the all-around with a 37.65. She won the beam with a 9.625 and was second on the floor with a 9.625.
Mahtomedi senior Bella Frattalone won the vault with a 9.7 and won the floor with a 9.675. Detroit Lakes senior Jackson Hegg won the bars with a 9.55.