Mitchell gymnasts take second at home invitational
Mitchell gymnastics coach Audra Rew foresees her team battling with Watertown all season long.
Saturday at the Jill McCormick Invitational, Mitchell's home meet, Watertown claimed the team championship with 141.150 points. Mitchell, which had two individuals place in the top-six in the all-around, came in second in the team standings with 139.225 points.
"I feel like we have different kids hitting at their peak each week," Mitchell coach Audra Rew said. " ... I feel like if we have the opportunity to peak at once, we will definitely beat Watertown.
"Right now, Watertown is kind of in the same boat we are. They've got kids injured and they're not hitting all of their routines like they would like to be hitting them. It's going to come down to the wire, come down to (the Eastern South Dakota Conference meet) and state to see who's going to hit."
The invitational, which had 13 teams competing, had its name changed this year to honor a former Mitchell gymnastics coach who was killed in a bus accident on the way to a meet in Pierre in 1987.
"We have just felt that she was such a great role model, and she was the middle school physical education teacher, and a fantastic coach that we felt like it was a great way to honor her memory," Rew said.
Quinci Herll was Mitchell's top all-around performer, finishing in fifth place with 35.7 points. Watertown's Lynne Hanten won the all-around with 37.250 points. Herll's best event of the day was the vault, finishing in second place with a 9.425.
"She had her best bars of her season so far," Rew said, referring to Herll's 8.975. "I just know what she can do in the gym and I know she has more potential in her. We have just got to be able to tap that and she does, she will be one of the top kids."
Ellie Rew came in sixth in the all-around with a 35.575. Her best event was on the beam with a fifth-place finish at 9.2.
"I was really excited to see Ellie score her highest all-around of her career," Rew said. "It's a state-qualifying all-around. I haven't seen her peak on all four events like she has at this meet."
As a team, Mitchell's best score came on vault, putting up a 35.9. The Kernels had a 35.1 on floor, a 34.750 on beam and a 33.475 on the bars.
Rew said another major highlight on the day was Emily Prill, who took eighth on the beam with a 9.075 and had an 8.7 on the floor. Rew said it was Prill's personal-best on both events.
Despite the wintry weather on Saturday, Rew said all of the teams still made the invite. She said Pierre arrived at the last minute and there was a judge who almost didn't make it, but she came in late and the meet started from there.
"And everyone got home safe," Rew said.
Jill McCormick Gymnastics meet
Saturday in Mitchell
Team scores: 1. Watertown 141.150; 2. Mitchell 139.225; 3. Madison 135.725; 4. Sioux Falls O'Gorman 132.1; 5. Brookings 131.250; 6. Brookings 131.025; 7. Yankton 131.025; 8. Pierre 129.3; 9. Sioux Falls Lincoln 129.225; 10. Huron 128.575; 11. Aberdeen Central 128.2; 12. Rapid City Stevens 114.9; 13. Sioux Falls Washington 112.475; 14. Rapid City Central 95.1.
(first place and Mitchell finishers only)
1. Krisia Braner, Watertown, 9.3250; 4. Quinci Herll, Mitchell, 8.9750; 9. Ellie Rew, Mitchell, 8.4; 15. Josie Dierks, Mitchell, 8.075; 18. Nicole Wittstruck, Mitchell, 8.025; 31. Bailey Roden, Mitchell, 7.775.
1. Lynne Hanten, Watertown, 9.65; 5. Ellie Rew, Mitchell, 9.2; 8. Emily Prill, Mitchell, 9.075; 19. Quinci Herll, Mitchell, 8.375; 23. Nicole Wittstruck, Mitchell, 8.1; 56. Josie Dierks, Mitchell, 6.25.
1. Krisia Braner, Watertown, 9.525; 13. Quinci Herll, Mitchell, 8.925; 14. Ellie Rew, Mitchell 8.9; 21. Emily Prill, Mitchell, 8.7; 27. Nicole Wittstruck, Mitchell, 8.575; 54. Josie Dierks, Mitchell, 7.8.
1. Mckinsey Kost, Rapid City Central, 9.575; 2. Quinci Herll, Mitchell, 9.425; 8. Ellie Rew, Mitchell, 9.075; 13. Josie Dierks, Mitchell, 8.825; 22. Nicole Wittstruck, Mitchell, 8.575; 25. Kayla Kerr, Mitchell, 8.525.
1. Lynne Hanten, Watertown, 37.250; 5. Quinci Herll, Mitchell, 35.7; 6. Ellie Rew, Mitchell, 35.575; 15. Nicole Wittstruck, Mitchell, 33.275; 31. Josie Dierks, Mitchell, 30.950.