Kernels getting ready for stateThe Mitchell High School gymnastics team is ready for the state tournament.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell High School gymnastics team is ready for the state tournament.
The girls haven’t competed since the team’s second-place finish at the Eastern South Dakota Conference and region meet on Feb. 4 in Brookings.
The state tournament is two days of competition. It starts Friday with the team competition, while Saturday is the individual and all-around championships. The Class AA state tournament is being held in Brookings.
Mitchell qualified the maximum of six competitors on vault, bars and beam for Saturday. The Kernels also qualified five girls on the floor routine and four for the all-around competition.
For a full list of Mitchell’s state-qualifying gymnasts, see the list after this story.
“The battle is keeping them excited and fired up,” said Mitchell coach Audra Rew, who is looking for her team to finish in the top three. “We’ve had two weeks between meets. We don’t want them getting laid back.”
Rew was pleased with her team’s performance at the ESD meet. It broke a score of 140 for the first time all season with a 141.925. Rew said she knows that the judging at the state tournament can be much more critical.
“Judging has been a lot lower than other events the past five or six years,” Rew said. “If we can break 140 (again), I would be thrilled.
“But it’s not about score. It’s about us hitting our routines. If we do what we’re capable of, it doesn’t matter what the score is. We should finish where we want. They’re going to be judging everybody equally.”
Mitchell hopes that it can get quality performances during the individual competition, including freshman Rebecca Sadler, who finished 11th place in the all-around last year.
The top-10 finishers make the all-tournament team.
“I just want to be a little better,” Sadler said.
Sadler mentioned some of the work she’s put in through the offseason with the hopes of making the all-tournament team this year.
“I went to gymnastics camps and worked through the summer,” Sadler said. “I’m trying to get a skill on bars that I’ve been working on, and I have to just show it off on floor.”
Rew said that Sadler’s best quality is her consistency through all the events, mentioning that she may not get a score of 9.5 in an event, but she is steady and can get 9.0 or above in anything.
“I’m really hoping she can make the top 10,” Rew said. “I think if she hits well she has a good chance. Quincy (Herll) might be right up there with her.”
Herll was the only Mitchell gymnast to earn all-conference in the all-around. All-conference is determined if a gymnast finishes in the top five in an event.
“(Herll) is a little more up and down,” Rew said. “Vault has given her some struggles, but if she can hit her vault, she’s going to be really strong.”
Mitchell hopes to improve on its sixth-place finish at the state tournament team competition last year.
Rew has a general idea of who will be competing for Mitchell in the team competition, although nothing is set for sure.
“There’s a few things still up in the air,” Rew said. “I want everyone to be ready to go. You never know if someone gets hurt or is struggling through warm-ups. I might change it right there at the meet.”
Mitchell’s individual state qualifiers
All-around — Quinci Herll, Rebecca Sadler, Nicole Wittstruck, Bailey Eidahl.
Vault — Rebecca Sadler, Josie Dierks, Bailey Eidahl, Ellie Rew, Quinci Herll, Nicole Wittstruck.
Bars — Rebecca Sadler, Quinci Herll, Ellie Rew, Josie Dierks, Nicole Wittstruck, Bailey Eidahl.
Beam — Quinci Herll, Emily Prill, Ellie Rew, Nicole Wittstruck, Bailey Eidahl, Rebecca Sadler.
Floor — Quinci Herll, Rebecca Sadler, Nicole Wittstruck, Josie Dierks, Bailey Eidahl.