There were several obstacles for the Park Center gymnastics team leading up to the annual MGGOA Classic meet held Jan. 4 at their home gym.
The Pirates had several illnesses to deal with, some injuries and the problems that the holiday break give to both practice and competition.
But even with all of that, coach Bruce Smith said the girls still had a good meet, finishing third overall with a 124.375 and coming close to scoring over 30 points in all four events.
Smith said that usually the team has a dual meet right before the meet, but they only had practice this time during a week that was already shortened with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
“I’m happy we got out of here without getting anybody hurt, and we did a pretty good job I thought,” Smith said.
Park Center had medals in all events, led by junior Annika Lee. Lee took third in the all-around with a 34.1 despite not having any first places and scoring a little lower than usual in some events.
Lee took third on the vault with a 9.25 and was also third on the uneven bars with an 8.35. Lee took fifth on the balance beam with an 8.2, and she was sixth on the floor with an 8.3.
Lee’s floor score took a hit with a fall on one trick that Smith said might have cost her 1.2 points, and that would have pushed her score to 9.5, which is closer to her average.
Senior Elissa Lance had a couple of medals, as well. She took sixth on the balance beam with a 8.175 and eighth on the uneven bars with a 7.35.
“She did really well but just didn’t hit her connections,” Smith said.
Sophomore Chandra Vue added a medal on the floor, taking seventh with an 8.25.
Vue also took 14th on the bars with a 6.95 and added top-25 finished on the vault, finishing 21st with an 8.25. She was 15th in the all-around with a 29.65.
“Chandra is coming back slow,” Smith said. “All of a sudden we are going to light a fire under her.”
Senior Rachel DuPont was 14th on the floor with a 7.95, 22nd on the bars with a 6.6, 23rd on the vault with an 8.15 and 24th on the beam with a 6.9. She was 16th in the all-around with a 29.6.
Senior Kalia Xiong took 21st on the floor with a 7.65, and junior Aleah Tvedt was 25th with a 7.5.
“If this was the end of the season and this is how we did, I would not think it was very good,” Smith said. “But right now, today, they gave you what they got. That is all I have been saying about this team. They practice hard and try to improve on things.”
St. Paul Highland Park won the D2 title with a 132.1, led by senior Lucy Lipscomb who won the all-around with a 35.85. She won the vault with a 9.45 and the bars with an 8.5. She also tied for first on the floor with a 9.1 and took second on the beam with an 8.8.