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Arrows clip Kernels on opening night of McCormick Invite

Mitchell's Bailey Roden competes on the uneven bars during the Jill McCormick Invitational on Friday at Mitchell High School. (Matt Gade / Republic)

On the high school gymnastics calendar, December is the time for teams to experiment and try out different lineups.

For the opening night of the Jill McCormick Invitational, Mitchell's gymnastics team took advantage of the chance to do just that.

It didn't necessarily work out for coach Audra Rew and the Kernels Friday — as defending state champions Watertown edged Mitchell by a half-point at the MHS gym — but the Kernels will live with that for now.

"We made some mistakes. We took some risks and I probably just should have played it safe," she said. "Sometimes I get into the heat of the moment and you get the kids fired up and they really go for it when I should maybe hold them back. But it's still December and this experience is all good for them."

The Arrows scored 142.275 points, nipping Mitchell (141.775) for the first time this season, with Class A powerhouse Madison third at 138.175. The Kernels used a split-squad as they traditionally do for the McCormick Invite, with an opportunity for more of Mitchell's team to get varsity-level experience.

And while the Kernels posted the best score of the night on beam (35.175) among the eight teams in the field, Rew noted that Mitchell struggled a bit more than usual. The same could be said for uneven bars, where Mitchell posted a 33.900.

"We're a little tired, to be honest," Rew said. "We can use the break that we're going to get because our kids have been going hard and we're a bit worn down."

The Arrows got a huge performance from Myah Morris to power themselves to victory. Morris, who claimed the all-around title Friday with a 37.875, scored a 9.8 on the vault to go with a 9.725 on floor and 9.575 on the uneven bars. All three event scores won their respective discipline.

Mitchell answered with a strong showing from eighth-grader Gracie Czmowski, who won the beam (9.500) and was third in the all-around (36.150).

"We actually made her routine a little more difficult this week and she went out and hit it," Rew said. "She's only getting better each time she's out there."

Mitchell senior Bailey Roden was seventh in the all-around with a score of 34.950, powered by sixth-place scores on uneven bars (8.525) and beam (8.625). Maria Krall was tied for eighth in the all-around (34.750), boasting a third-place score on floor (9.475) and fourth on vault (9.250). Kyra Gropper was second on uneven bars with a 8.925 score.

The Kernels are back in action today at the McCormick Invite, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Jill McCormick Invitational

Friday at Mitchell High School

Team scores: 1. Watertown 142.275, 2. Mitchell 141.775, 3. Madison 138.175, 4. Brookings 137.075, 5. Aberdeen Central 129.950, 6. Huron 129.050, 7. Yankton 128.275, 8. Harrisburg 114.075.

Individual results (top-10):

All-around: 1. Myah Morris, WAT, 37.875; 2. Jenni Giles, MAD, 36.675; 3. Gracie Czmowski, MIT, 36.150; 4. Brooke Bollinger, WAT, 35.425; 5. Rachel Gannon, BRK, 35.200; 6. Shania Schwebach, MAD, 35.000; 7. Bailey Roden, MIT, 34.950; T8. Maria Krall, MIT, and Erica Zell, HUR, 34.750; 10. Maci Law, BRK, 34.525.

Vault: 1. Myah Morris, WAT, 9.800; 2. Kyra Gropper, MIT, 8.925; 3. Brooke Bollinger, WAT, 9.300; 4. Maria Krall, MIT, 9.250; 5. Kylie Krusemark, MAD, 9.200; 6. Jenni Giles, MAD, 9.125; T7. Gracie Czmowski, MIT, and Danielle Miles, WAT, 9.025; 9. Erica Zell, HUR, 9.00; 10. Kailee Henglefelt, MIT, 8.975.

Uneven bars: 1. Myah Morris, WAT, 9.575; 2. Kyra Gropper, MIT, 8.925; 3. Jenni Giles, MAD, 8.775; 4. Rachel Gannon, BRK, 8.525; 5. Alison Johnson, YAN, 8.500; 6. Bailey Roden, MIT, 8.450; 7. Brooke Bollinger, WAT, 8.425; 8. Marah Dobrenski, BRK, 8.350; 9. Alyssa Hughes, MIT, 8.300; 10. Shania Schwebach, MAD, 8.250.

Balance beam: 1. Gracie Czmowski, MIT, 9.500; 2. Jenni Giles, MAD, 9.225; 3. Shania Schwebach, MAD, 8.875; 4. Maci Law, BRK, 8.850; 6. Bailey Roden, MIT, 8.725; 7. Lily Siemonsma, BRK, 8.650; 8. Rachel Gannon, BRK, 8.625; 9. Maria Krall, MIT, 8.500; 10. Masy Mock, MIT, 8.450.

Floor exercise: 1. Myah Morris, WAT, 9.725; 2. Jenni Giles, MAD, 9.550; 3. Maria Krall, MAD, 9.475; 4. Erica Zell, HUR, 9.425; T5. Gracie Czmowski, MIT, and Abbi Cummings, WAT, 9.400; 7. Brooke Bollinger, WAT, 9.350; 8. Erica Hageman, WAT, 9.325; 9. Aspyn Lundquist, AC, 9.300; 10. Rachel Gannon, BRK, 9.225.