By Matthew Davis
Taylor Guckeen of Champlin Park finished in the top ten for two events at the State Gymnastics Individual Meet on Saturday, Feb. 22.
“It was really exciting to place top ten because that was one of my goals going into the meet,” Guckeen said.
Guckeen took eighth in the floor exercises for a three-way tie with a score of 9.6125 at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavillion. She also took ninth in the balance beam with a score of 9.45. Guckeen bounced back from a fall on vault, her first event.
“I ended up getting my highest bar score of the year and my highest floor score, so I was really happy,” Guckeen said.
Liz Hammond took ninth in the vault for the Rebels at 9.525. She also took 19th in the uneven bars, which Guckeen took 27th in.
“I thought that was pretty fun,” Hammond said about the vault.
On the balance beam, Hammond had a 29th-place finish and 26th in the floor exercises. For the all-around, Guckeen took 24th and Hammond finished 25th. Unfortunately, Hammond got injured on the floor exercises and will need to get an MRI.
As a team, the Rebels took eighth in the team tournament on Friday, Feb. 21. It was the Rebels’ first appearance in the team tournament.
“We knew going into the meet, that we definitely towards the bottom, but we were just really happy to be there,” Guckeen said. “We all tried our best, and we still had a really good time.”
Champlin Park had four wrestlers reach the third spot on the podium at the Section 5AAA wrestling meet on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 21-22 on their home mat.
Malik Byrd wrestled back through the consolation bracket and reached the second-place match by defeating Adam Lanners of Osseo in a 5-0 decision. Byrd fell to Karl Keeler of Mounds View in a 7-1 decision in the second-place match.
Paul Winkelmann made to third at 138 by beating Isahak Osman of Osseo in an 8-3 decision. Winkelmann had reached the semifinals in the winner’s bracket after a quarterfinal win against Noah Hevert-Sikkink of Centennial in a 9-1 major decision.
Andrew Ockuly took third at 145 after reaching the semifinals of the winner’s bracket. He fell to Connor Larson of Rogers in a 3-2 decision but rebounded to beat Jack Graham of Mounds View in a fall at 3:46.
John Danner won an 8-4 decision over Maple Grove’s Jason Chisato-Rodvik for third place in 170. Danner beat Josh Oviedo of Spring Lake Park to reach the semifinals in the winners bracket on a fall at 1:48.
With no one in first place or second, the Rebels did not qualify any individuals for state for the first time in school history.
In a rematch of last year’s Section 5AA finals, Champlin Park and Centennial met again.
But, it came in the quarterfinals this time around. The Rebels again came up short against the defending section champion Cougars in a 5-1 on Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Coon Rapids Ice Center.
Luke Dalman had the lone goal in the season-ending loss for the Rebels at 5:05 in the second period. The Cougars put four goals in that period with a 28-12 difference in shooting.
A rout by No. 3-ranked Champlin Park over Park Center sealed up the Northwest Suburban Conference title on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Ian Smith had 21 points to lead the Rebels (22-2, 17-1 NWSC) offensively to a 91-56 victory. Brennan Witt had a double double for the Rebels with 19 points and 10 rebounds. JT Gibson scored 14 points for the NWSC champs, and Alec Leabo and Jeremy Johnson each added 11.
Isaiah McKay had a team-high 17 points for the Pirates, and Amani Hooker scored 13. The Pirates (13-12, 8-12 NWSC) sit at eighth in the conference through Feb. 22.
With the NWSC crown, the Rebels received the No. 1 seed in Section 5 4A and will host No. 8 Irondale on Thursday at 7 p.m. The No. 4 Pirates will host No. 5 Centennial on Thursday at 7 p.m. and will play the winner of the Rebels and Irondale. Their semifinal game takes place on Tuesday, March 5 at 6 p.m. in Rogers.
Champlin Park had their hands full with Cayla McMorris and No. 2-ranked Park Center in a 78-57 loss on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
McMorris led all scorers with 26 points as the Rebels struggled against one of the state’s top teams. Alexis Alexander led the Rebels with 19 points, and Allison Gerads added 11.
Contact Matthew Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Luke Dalman had the lone goal for the Champlin Park Rebels in their Section 5AA loss to Centennial on Saturday, Feb. 22. (Photo by Nick Gerhardt)