Kernel gymnasts head to region meet
The Mitchell High School gymnastics team will head to today's Region 3AA meet in Pierre with individual goals in mind. Technically, the Kernels do have to qualify as a team by posting one of the 12 highest scores in the state. But with only 13 te...
The Mitchell High School gymnastics team will head to today's Region 3AA meet in Pierre with individual goals in mind.
Technically, the Kernels do have to qualify as a team by posting one of the 12 highest scores in the state. But with only 13 teams in AA gymnastics, only catastrophe would prevent the two-time defending state champs from qualifying, and probably not even that could stop the Kernels from advancing to the state meet in Rapid City Feb. 20-21.
"Unless we're the very last team in the state we go, so it doesn't really mean anything to us team-wise" Mitchell coach Audra Rew said. "But individually, it tells us who is going to compete."
With a team spot all but locked up, the Kernels will look to qualify as many individuals as possible when the region meet gets under way today at 4 p.m. Amelia Rew and Tessa Dee have both qualified already for the all-around by meeting the in-season standard of three 35s throughout the year, but the Kernels are hoping to have two more gymnasts qualify today.
Kendell Smith barely missed several 35s throughout the year, and Kayla Majercik posted her first 35 of the season last Saturday at the Eastern South Dakota Conference meet. But both gymnasts need only a 33 today to qualify, and Rew fully expects both to do so.
"Kayla had over a 35 (at the ESD), and Kendell was just under 35 and didn't hit bars," Rew said. "Those things happen, but every meet so far she has been over 33."
The Kernels do have one other in-season state qualifier. Molly Cahoy qualified on the vault by posting at least three scores of 9 or better throughout the year. She will be competing on vault today, but will be looking to qualify on other events as well.
The top nine individuals in each event qualify for that event at state, and Rew has her sights set high.
"We're hoping to qualify six people in each event," she said. "That's the most that you can qualify."
In addition to vault, Cahoy will compete on beam and bars. Coty Zell will compete on floor, Tara Palmer will compete on bars and Kendra Cersosimo will compete on beam, bars and vault. Combined with the all-arounders, that would give Mitchell at least six people competing on each event.
"I'm very confident that "we're going to be able to qualify six on every event," Rew said.
With Mitchell not worried about a team slot and Dee and Amelia Rew both having qualified already in the all-around, Audra Rew said she debated whether to even have them compete today. In the end, however, she decided it was important to have them out there.
"We're looking at it as a dress rehearsal for the state meet," Audra Rew said. "We want to work out any kinks we might have. ...I can look at the scoring from the judges and see if there is anything we can fix at the last minute or changes we can make based on how they perform (today)."