Focusing on their own team and individual performances in welcoming perennial section champion Worthington to Pipestone Thursday night, the Arrow gymnastics team succeeded on all accounts.
Although the team tallies, as expected, favored the Trojans 142.35-124.875, the Arrows made the most of their fourth competition in six days.
Junior gymnast Megan Lingen turned in a sharp all-around performance in placing third behind Trojans Hali Bullerman (35.925 points) and Mekyla Nystrom (35.2), with a four-event total of 31.875. Teammate Kaysa Douty, who claimed her first-career all-around title Tuesday night versus the MCW Magic, was a strong fourth Thursday evening with 31.375 points.
“I wasn’t expecting that Tuesday, but since my sister got hurt, I knew I had to step up,” said the talented PAS seventh-grader. “I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team and improve my skills.”
Which was the focus of each Arrow gymnast Thursday night in facing an ever-formidable Trojan army.
The Arrows went into battle on the uneven parallel bars, where the injured Kindra Douty (6th) paced the hosts with a score of 7.7. Lingen opened her all-around run with the team’s second-best mark of 7.375, and Kaysa Douty , eighth-grader Vivian Brockberg and junior Meredith Draper followed with respective scores of 7.125, 7.1 and 6.3.
Lingen (5th) led the Arrows on the vault, popping off a mark of 8.7. Kaysa Douty and Brockberg followed with scores of 8.625 and 8.6 in demonstrating the youngster’s ability to ‘step up.’
“Kaysa has handled a lot, moving into varsity competition; she’s is doing very well,” said Brockberg. “I still get nervous, especially on beam, but I try to focus and block everything out. My vault has been good this week; I’ve gotten a lot of block (pop off the vault table) and my twist has gotten around.”
Seniors Emma Stahl and Ella Melby completed the Arrows’ rotation on the vault, posting respective scores of 8.525 and 8.475 before moving to the balance beam.
There, the Arrows finished in the same order behind the Trojan quintet of Abby Bristow (9.0), Olivia Barber (8.95), Nystrom (8.85), Bullerman (8.45) and Cristy Banegas (7.95). Lingen led the home side at 7.4, Kaysa Doty turned in a mark of 7.075 and Brockberg was a solid third for the hosts at 6.75. Stahl and Melby again wrapped up the PAS rotation, posting respective scores of 6.625 and 6.6 on the beam.
Moving from club gymnastics to high school has been different, but I think I’ve done well with it,” Kaysa Douty said. “You just have to try to keep the adrenaline in and control it. I’ve been trying to land my handspring, front full on floor (exercise), to get a higher score, and I’m trying to stick (no falls) my beam more.”
And Kaysa Douty indeed did well in trying to cleanly perform new and difficult skills on the floor Thursday night; the youngest member of the varsity squad lead the Arrows in the event, scoring 8.55 points to place sixth overall. Stahl was a strong second for the Arrows at 8.375, while Lingen (8.35), Draper (7.95 and Melby (7.8) wrapped up a good night of gymnastics for the hosts.
And moving forward, Pipestone Area’s younger gymnasts are showing their maturity in focusing on improvement rather accolades.
“We just want to make our routines as clean as possible and try to add some new skills to them as we go,” Kaysa Douty said.
The Arrows will have two weeks off, to heal and train, before returning to action Jan. 28 against the Jackson County Central Huskies in Jackson.
Worthington 133.7, PAS 107.95
BARS – Addison Draper 5.3, Raegen Tibbs 5.1, Samantha Radloff 4.8, Caiya Strasser 4.45, Alivia Fruechte 3.5, Brooke Einck 3.4, Ryleigh Nissen 2.25, Katelyn Spathe 2.0.
VAULT – Strasser 8.45, Tibbs 8.25, Spathe 8.05, Taylor Post 7.95, Fruechte 7.7, Nissen 7.7, Alyssa Steuck 7.6.
BEAM – Spathe 6.8, Strasser 6.6, Post 6.6, Tibbs 6.4, Nissen 6.2, Steuck 5.8, Radloff 5.7, Einck 5.4.
FLOOR – Draper 7.8, Radloff 7.0, Post 6.9, Strasser 6.8, Spathe 6.8, Einck 6.6, Fruechte 6.4, Steuck 6.4.
ALL-AROUND – Strasser 26.3 (4th place).