by DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS Newspapers
The response from Delano and Rockford gymnasts and coaches who were at last week’s State Class AA meet was nothing but enthusiastic.
Most everyone represented did as well or better than ever this season despite the pressure of performing on the big stage.
Delano represented Section 5 as a team and scored three points higher than the section championship score, which also was a season high at the time. Coach Jamie Greenberg said, “It was a great end to a great season.”
It is believed senior Andi Joe Shrode became the first Delano gymnast to stand on the state awards podium after placing sixth individually on balance beam, scoring 9.375.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Shrode about surpassing what she thought was possible when competing in such a talented field. “It was super exciting to stand on the podium.”
Shrode said it helped to have competed at state with the team and as an individual in past years. She learned to let the pressure out, take it one skill at a time and try to have fun.
Delano is a team primarily made up of all-arounders working all four events, meaning if one gymnast is out injured, there is a big hole in the scoring. Shrode sprained an ankle early in the season and others were unable to perform all events at times.
“We were all hurt in some way, but I am glad we were able to pull it all together to push through the pain and get to state,” adds Shrode. “I am really proud of everyone.”
Junior Amelia Sutherland finished ninth on beam at 9.387. Shrode made the top 10 on floor exercise in ninth place at 9.387. Senior Anna Wischmann scored 8.662 for 29th place. On vault, Wischmann was 22 and Shrode 26. In the all-around competition, Shrode was 18 and Wischmann 26.
Delano scored a season best 139.250 points and still finished eighth, with all seven other teams scoring 140 or more. New Prague won the state title at 149.6.
“A highlight for us was scoring the third highest points on balance beam,” said Greenberg about how four of the five girls stayed on the beam. “Shrode’s beam routine has a lot of difficulty and she nailed it both Friday and Saturday.”
Also competing for Delano was sophomore newcomer Alexus Aguirre and ninth-grader Cassie Moe.
Rockets perform well
Rockford qualified two gymnasts to the state meet. Senior Brianna Schumacher received her highest score of the season on the uneven bars. The score of 8.525 put her in 29th place.
“Bri’s routine was beautiful,” said coach Jessica Johnson. “She has amazing form, which is why she made it to state. She may not have extremely difficult skills in her routine, but because she has such wonderful form, she is able to outscore so many other gymnasts who have the very difficult skills.”
Johnson adds how Schumacher has taught the team the importance of perfecting each skill. The coach adds, “She has added so much to our whole team through her leadership and work ethic.”
Junior Mikayla Erickson had a fall on balance beam and still posted a score of 8.525 to place 27th.
“A fall is very unusual to Mikayla,” adds Johnson. “Without the fall, she would have scored in the top 13 at state. Mikayla has another year and I am looking forward to it. She has been a team captain for the past three years.”
This season, Erickson’s father Mike joined the team as the co-head coach.
Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]