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Parkston/Ethan/Hanson finishes third in Class A meet

WATERTOWN--The Parkston/Ethan/Hanson gymnastics team didn't even qualify for the Class A state gymnastics team competition a season ago. But on Friday, the gymnastics program--in its fourth year of existence--made its presence known. P/E/H took t...

Parkston/Ethan/Hanson's Kenna Konfrst competes on the beam during the state gymnastics meet on Friday at the Watertown Civic Arena. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Parkston/Ethan/Hanson's Kenna Konfrst competes on the beam during the state gymnastics meet on Friday at the Watertown Civic Arena. (Matt Gade / Republic)

WATERTOWN-The Parkston/Ethan/Hanson gymnastics team didn't even qualify for the Class A state gymnastics team competition a season ago.

But on Friday, the gymnastics program-in its fourth year of existence-made its presence known. P/E/H took third place at the Class A meet on Friday at the Watertown Civic Arena, a new landmark moment for the still young co-op.

"It's a big accomplishment," P/E/H coach Bridget Muntefering said. "We placed seventh in our first two years and last year, we had so many injuries we didn't make the state meet. This year, everyone was healthy and strong and that's so important. That helped make it happen."

Deuel pulled off a mild upset for the Class A team championship, edging Madison and ending the Bulldogs' four-year reign atop the class. The Cardinals topped Madison in every discipline and won with 144.675 points, with the Bulldogs second at 142.450. Deuel won its first title since 2013, but it marks the 24th straight season one of the two schools has won the state team championship.

The race for third place was a crowded one but P/E/H rode solid efforts on the uneven bars and particularly the balance beam to pick up the third-place slot. Hot Springs was fourth with 129.650 points, less than a point behind P/E/H.

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P/E/H has been led by the team's core three gymnasts from the start, with junior McKenzie Prunty and sophomores Jada Plastow and Tyra Zens and all three delivered on Friday, all finishing in the top-13 for individual all-around scores.

Prunty had the team's best all-around score (34.650) and P/E/H's top score in all four events, including a 9.175 on the balance beam. Zens posted a 34.000 all-around score, including a 9.125 on the balance beam. Jada Plastow scored 33.375 all-around, while Kenna Konfrst and Jaya Kurtenbach helped P/E/H earn a high score, participating in all five events.

Muntefering said the balance beam would decide her team's fate and after her team had four solid scores, she knew her team would score well.

"That was the difference for us," she said. "We needed those scores to hit and we did."

Chamberlain, which was seeded fourth entering Friday, finished seventh, with 127.4 points. Mikayden Weston led the way for the Cubs, scoring an all-around 33.1. Wagner/Bon Homme took eighth place with 126.850, with Emily Duffek scoring the most points for her team, a 34.975 all-around score.

Class A state gymnastics

Team competition

Friday-at Watertown Civic Arena

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Team scores: 1. Deuel 144.675, 2. Madison 142.450, 3. Parkston/Ethan/Hanson 130.400; 4. Hot Springs 129.650, 5. Milbank Area 128.800, 6. Vermillion 127.650, 7. Chamberlain 127.400, 8. Wagner/Bon Homme 126.850, 9. West Central 120.850.

Event scores

Vault: 1. Deuel 35.725, 2. Madison 35.650, 3. Milbank Area 33.375, 4. Hot Springs 33.300, 5. Chamberlain 32.750, 6. Wagner/Bon Homme 32.600, 7. Parkston/Ethan/Hanson 32.475, 8. West Central 31.950, 9. Vermillion 31.925.

Uneven bars: 1. Deuel 34725, 2. Madison 34.500, 3. Parkston/Ethan/Hanson 31.275, 4. Vermillion 30.250, 5. Hot Springs 30.050, 6. Milbank Area 29.775, 7. Wagner/Bon Homme 29.100, 8. Chamberlain 29.050, 9. West Central 27.450.

Balance beam: 1. Deuel 37.350, 2. Madison 35.750, 3. Parkston/Ethan/Hanson 34.300, 4. Vermillion 33.775, 5. Hot Springs 33.575, 6. Milbank Area 33.500, 7. Chamberlain 32.625, 8. Wagner/Bon Homme 32.375, 9. West Central 30.150.

Floor exercise: 1. Deuel 36.875, 2. Madison 36.550, 3. Chamberlain 32.975, 4. Wagner/Bon Homme 32.775, 5. Hot Springs 32.725, 6. Parkston/Ethan/Hanson 32.350, 7. Milbank Area 32.150, 8. Vermillion 31.700, 9. West Central 31.300.

Related Topics: PARKSTONETHANGYMNASTICS
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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