BY DAVID PEDERSEN
It was after only the first week of gymnastics team practice when Delano coach Jamie Greenberg said she could tell that “this is going to be an incredible year.”
Delano did lose some talented gymnasts, but return three varsity leaders from last year, Plus, Greenburg said she has seen quite a bit of improvement by the several junior varsity gymnasts.
Returning with state meet experience are seniors Anna Wischmann and Andi Jo Shrode, plus junior Amelia Sutherland.
The gymnasts helped Delano qualify for state in two of the past three seasons. Last year the Tigers were joined by state power Breck in the section and finished second. In recent years, both schools have qualified for state.
“Breck is a team full of very talented girls with amazing skills, so we are hoping to step it up this year and receive first place at sections,” adds Greenberg.
Varsity gymnasts include junior Lydia Farniok, sophomore Alexus Aguirre, ninth-grader Cassie Moe and eighth-graders Janel Pinonimi, Kaarina Eskola and Alaina Johnson.
Last season, Wischmann was fifth in the all-around at sections, where the top four advance to state. She did qualify to state on vault by taking second with 9.25. She was seventh on floor (9.025) and on bars (7.975).
Shrode did well in her three events, advancing to state in two. She was second on floor (9.4), fourth on beam (9.025) and tied fourth on vault (9.1), losing the tie breaking and given fifth place.
Sutherland captured the section championship on balance beam with 9.225. She also was sixth on floor at 9.175. Moe was 12th on the uneven bars as an eighth-grader.
Delano starts the season at home, 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 against Waconia. The Tigers head to the Maple Lake Invitational, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Delano comes home to face Watertown-Mayer, 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7.