Champlin Park gymnastics is still early in its 2021 season, but the Rebels are already scoring over 137 points.

Despite not having an all-around first place, Champlin Park was able to top Park Center 137.375-124.225 Feb. 4 inside the Pirates’ west gym.

The balance beam was not only the best event overall for the Rebels with a 35.375, but it was also one of the events that had a big discrepancy against Park Center (29.875). Champlin Park also gained more of a lead after the uneven bars with a 33.425-27.075 advantage.

The floor exercise was the second best team score with a 35.125, and the vault was third overall with a 33.45, though the Pirates outscored the Rebels in that event.

Depth and balance was the key in all events with only the bars having a fourth varsity score under an 8.1.

Sophomore Katie Johnson, who competed on the Junior Olympic level at Twin City Twister Gymnastics, was the all-around leader for Champlin Park. The balance beam and floor exercise were her two best events as she finished with a 34.7.

She used several tricks on the beam to score a 9.3, including a back walkover to a back handspring. Johnson had good poise and didn’t fall or have a big stumble during her routine.

Johnson added a front handspring with a full twisting layout to her floor exercise routine, and she ended up scoring an 8.85.

Johnson finished with an 8.45 on the bars, as she will continue to work on adding elements later such as the double back dismount. By the end of the season, Rebels’ coaches believe she will be in contention for a state podium spot with three-time state qualifier senior Emma Saksa.

Johnson ended up with an 8.1 on the vault. She performed a piked Yurchenko – which has a starting value of 9.8.

Saksa finished with a 9.225 on the bars, performing a bonus high swing 1/2 to a handstand, a bail/overshoot to a handstand and a double back dismount.

Senior Tashina Beyioku-Alase had the best score for Champlin Park on the floor. She finished with a 9.375. A two-time state qualifier on the vault and a state qualifier on the floor last season, Beyioku-Alase has several skills on her routine – including a front Rudy and a front full and back.

Saksa and Beyioku-Alase didn’t compete in the all-around, but they were in other events.

Saksa also competed on the balance beam and floor exercise. She scored an 8.6 on the floor exercise with bonus skills like the back layout full and 1/2.

On the beam, Saksa finished with an 8.8, despite battling some early season injuries that occured while working too hard during the sporadic offseason.

Beyioku-Alase added the vault and beam to her night. She performed a piked Yurchenko on the vault and scored an 8.925.

Beyioku-Alase was also second on the team on the beam with an 8.825. Her routine included a split jump 1/4 twist into a full twist off of the side of the beam.

Junior Jordan Smith competed in the all-around with Johnson. Smith finished with an overall score of 32.9.

Smith finished with an 8.45 on the balance beam and an 8.1 on the uneven bars, using bonus high twisting dismounts on both events.

Smith also scored an 8.3 on the floor, adding difficulty to her dance and leaps with a bonus high twists. Smith also finished with an 8.05 on the vault, performing a tucked Tsukahara, which has a 9.6 starting value.

Senior Leanna Ung and junior Bella Schneider both performed a handspring full on their vault attempts. Ung scored an 8.275, and Schneider scored an 8.15. The starting value for that vault is a 9.4.

Ung also performed on the uneven bars, finishing with a 7.65, and Schneider was the fifth scorer on the floor with a 7.725.

Senior Kara McElmurry is still working back from a hamstring pull, as she normally would compete on the vault, floor and beam. She only participated in the beam against Park Center and finished with a 7.95.

Senior Mya Lloyd was the fifth scorer on the bars with a 6.425.

Junior varsity

Some standouts in junior varsity events were Lloyd, Makaila Peschong and Melina Ung on the vault. Lloyd finished with an 8.1, and Peschong and Melina Ung both scored 8.0.

Emma Husom had a 7.8 on the balance beam, and Leanna Ung (8.25), Lloyd (8.05) and Melina Ung (8.0) all scored 8.0 or above on the floor.

Melina Ung finished with a 29.35 in the all-around.

The Rebels junior varsity won 118.35-94.9 over Park Center.

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