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Kernels crowned Class AA champs: Mitchell gymnasts score 147.800

The Kernels win their seventh title since 2007

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Mitchell's Masy Mock is congratulated by Head Coach Audra Rew following her performance on the beam during the Class AA state championships on Saturday at the Watertown Civic Center.

WATERTOWN -- The Kernels are back on top.

After a two-year hiatus, the Mitchell High School gymnastics team claimed another Class AA state gymnastics title on Saturday. The Kernels, who won their seventh title since 2007, compiled 147.800 points en route to the title.

“Our goal when you start out the season, is to do your very best and to hopefully win a state title,” Mitchell coach Audra Rew said. “That’s always the goal. Going into this meet, we just really wanted the girls to hit every routine, enjoy the moment and that’s what they did. We kind of knew that the way things had gone all season, if we did that, then we would come out on top.”

Mitchell finished as state runner-up to Watertown the past two seasons. But the Kernels topped the Arrows throughout the 2020-21 season and it continued on Saturday. Watertown placed second (143.475).

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Mitchell's Emily Moody does her floor routine during the Class AA state championships on Saturday at the Watertown Civic Center.
Matt Gade

“It feels really great that we could accomplish it and beat them by so much,” Mitchell sophomore Kyra Gropper said. “It’s just a really good feeling to head back again from when I was a seventh-grader (in 2018).”

The 2021 state title was different for the unique setup this season. Due to COVID-19, the teams and individuals were placed in pods. Three teams in each pod competed for team and individual honors and the other teams just for individual honors. The top six teams and 10 individuals in each individual event and all-around competition received awards.

On Saturday, Mitchell’s depth was again on display. The Kernels posted team-high scores in vault (36.500), bars (36.500), beam (36.950) and floor (37.850).

Individually, the Kernels placed had four of the top-10 in the all-around: 3. Joslin Sommerville (37.175), No. 4 Bentley Bates (37.050), No. 5 Kyra Gropper (36.925) and No. 8 Emily Moody (36.125).

“We did have a lot of depth and I felt like we could have four all-arounders in the top 10 and we did,” said Rew, who praised the number of young gymnasts shining on the stage. “I am really excited to see where they are going to go. I think those eighth-graders were just starting to get their confidence right before state as all-arounders. I haven’t even given them that opportunity before. So it is exciting to see young talent coming up that can be on top of the podium at some point.”

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Mitchell's Kyra Gropper competes on the bars during the Class AA state championships on Saturday at the Watertown Civic Center.
Matt Gade

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The Kernels started their day on vault. Individually, Moody (9.200) and Sommerville (9.150) placed second and third, respectively. Gropper (9.100) and Chelsey Mohr (9.050) took sixth and 10th, respectively.

Rew praised Gropper’s vault because she had only stuck it three times during the season.

“The score was a little low, but I don’t really care,” Gropper laughed. “I stuck it and I have never done that before. So I was proud of myself.”

The Kernels completed their day with floor and their lone senior, Masy Mock, put an exclamation point on the day. Mock was the last competitor of the day and tied for seventh with a 9.450.

“That was pretty fun,” Mock said. “Most of the years, I’ve had floor routines that I didn’t like and this year I really liked it. So it was fun that I got to do it one last time.”

Rew said it was the perfect finish for Mock, who had a pair of top-10 finishes in floor and beam (8.950).

“She went last on floor and so the very last competitor of her senior state meet was Masy and so we really enjoyed that moment,” Rew said.

Related Topics: GYMNASTICS
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