by MATTHEW DAVIS
Champlin Park girls gymnastics made strides last season, and they hope to keep building.
They took third in the Northwest Suburban Conference behind Centennial and Coon Rapids. The Rebels also had a solid showing at the Section 5AA meet with a season-best score of 133.425. Freshman Taylor Guckeen went to the state meet for the beam. Lexi Marqaurd, a senior, came just shy of state.
“Were hoping to do pretty well,” Rebels coach John Wynia said.
Marquard and two other seniors graduated after last season, but the Rebels have plenty of talent back and/or coming in.
Guckeen returns to make another run at state. She finished in the top 15 on beam. Her high score on the beam for the season was 9.4, and her top score on the floor was 9.35.
“Taylor will be strong on beam again this year, but we’ve added some new stuff for her on vault and bars,” Wynia said. “So, she’ll be strong in all four events in the all-around.”
The Rebels will also get points and senior leadership from Casey Rieschl. Freshmen Liz Hammond and Alexa Ranfranz joined the varsity this season, and both have strong beam routines and will help the team’s score. Senior Kayla Uzzell left club gymnastics to join the Rebels varsity squad.
The Rebels compete in a tough section with gymnastics power Roseville. The Raiders owned last season’s Section 5AA meet with a score of 150.95, which prevented several Rebels from reaching state.