The Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Officials Association meet is loaded with ranked teams, and that makes the tournament a gauge for the state tournament.
Champlin Park gymnastics definitely showed it is one of the better teams in the state with a third-place finish with a 142.95. Only Detroit Lakes (147.5), which is ranked No. 1 in Class A, and Maple Grove (143.225), which is ranked second in Class AA, were better on Saturday, Jan. 5, at Park Center High School.
The Class AA fifth-ranked Rebels bested Class A third-ranked Mahtomedi and Class AA 14th-ranked Lakeville North, 15th-ranked Lakeville South, 23rd-ranked Mounds View and 24th-ranked White Bear Lake.
“I was really pleased with the girls that stepped up,” coach Jon Wynia said. “Last year, we were barely a 140 here, and we are three points ahead of that. We ended the year pretty well last year, and I think we are on pace to do that again.”
A big reason for the early success is the depth, which can be seen on the JV team. A few varsity girls were out sick on Saturday, and girls filled in on the uneven bars.
While the Rebels scored a little lower in that event as a team, they still scored over 142 points.
“Traditionally, our JV has been in the 120s, and now our JV is stepping up and has been in the 130s,” Wynia said. “That is a big key to our depth.”
It also doesn’t hurt to have sophomore Chaney Neu in your lineup.
Neu won the all-around title with a 38.35 and the balance beam title with a 9.575. She also tied for first on the vault with a 9.775 with Mounds View’s Taylor Siebenaler.
Neu was runner-up on the floor exercise with a 9.7, finishing behind Detroit Lakes’ Cora Okeson and earned her fifth medal on the uneven bars. She took fifth with a 9.3.
Sophomore Emma Saksa also earned multiple medals. She was fourth on the uneven bars with a 9.325 and took 10th on the floor with a 9.225. That her to 10th in the all-around with a 35.425.
Saksa added a 28th on the vault with an 8.75, and she was 31st on the balance beam with an 8.125.
Senior Lily Sutherland and junior Avery Donovan also medaled. Donovan (9.0) and Sutherland (8.925) were eighth and ninth on the beam.
They were also 17th and 18th in the all-around. Donovan scored a 33.9, and Sutherland had a 33.425. Donovan also scored a 9.0 on the vault.
Sophomore Tashina Beyioku-Alase finished with a 9.125 on the vault and added an 8.4 on the beam and a 9.125 on the floor.
“Last year we weren’t quite ready to fire this early, and now they are ready to go,” Wynia said. “We will put together some good meets here and hopefully we will put a good one together against Maple Grove in the conference.”
The Rebels fell just short of Maple Grove on Saturday, but Wynia said that if the girls stuck a few more landings, they could have pushed the Crimson.