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Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson sophomore Jill Mueller contorts her body as she does a throw during the floor exercise on Saturday afternoon at the Dickinson Triangular gymnastics meet at the DHS gymnasium.

Dickinson gymnastics sweeps season opening meet

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Awkward falls.

Awkward lands.

The Dickinson High gymnastics team shook off a little rust, but started the season off on the right foot at the Dickinson Triangular on Saturday at DHS gymnasium.

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"We had some weird mistakes," Dickinson junior Mikaela Kessel said. "Hopefully, we just got the first meet nerves out of the way."

The Midgets claimed the top six spots in the all-around en route to a 144.925 team score, while runner-up Mandan finished with 125.1 points and Wahpeton in third place with 118.8.

"The first meet is always where we got our mistakes out," Dickinson senior Chantal Urlacher said. "The first meet is always kind of a struggle. It's always weird falls that happen."

Dickinson's Acacia Fossum, who is the two-time defending state all-around champion, won the all-around with a score of 37.2. The freshman from Richardton took first in the uneven bars (9.55) and was runner-up on the floor exercise, balance beam and vault.

"In our last practice, I hurt my leg, so I wasn't too sure," Fossum said. "I think I did pretty well for not being 100 percent."

Fossum pulled a muscle, but Dickinson head coach Kent Van Ells said it should clear up. The events her muscle pull affects the most are vault and floor.

"I don't know how big of a problem it will be," Van Ells said. "I'm hoping that it clears up pretty quickly. We'll just have to see."

Kessel placed second in the all-around (35.975). The junior was all smiles until her dismount on the bars, where she had a slipup on her dismount. But she finished strong, winning the floor (9.3) and the beam (9.55).

"The last two weeks have been pretty rough in practice," Kessel said. "Overall, I'm happy with where I'm at. I just wanted to get the first meet out of the way."

Dickinson freshman Keana Kudrna knew there was room for improvement after taking fourth in the vault at 2012 North Dakota state gymnastics meet. Kudrna won the vault with a 9.3 and finished third in the all-around (35.4).

"I think we ended up in a good spot," Kudrna said. "I knew that I could improve since state. It's a good booster winning the vault."

Urlacher, who competed in one event in one meet last year after attempting a comeback from an ACL injury, had a solid first meet back for the Midgets. The Dickinson Trinity senior placed fourth in the all-around (35.125), while taking second in the bars and third in the beam.

"It's the greatest feeling in the world to be back," she said. "I think my body really needed that year off. I feel stronger than I actually ever have."

Dickinson sophomore Jill Mueller, who also took a year off, and senior Mckenzie Kostelecky finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the all-around.

For runner-up Mandan, it was the team's first meet since disbanding during the 2007-08 season. Head coach Amanda Lantz said some of the girls haven't competed since the team disbanded.

"We've come a long ways since we started in June," Lantz said. "It's great to see them come out and be competitive. This is a good jumping off point for the first meet."

The Midgets continue their season at 5:30 p.m. Friday with the Milo Dullum Meet. They'll host four of the top five teams to finish at last season's state tournament, plus South Dakota defending state champion Rapid City Central

"It was good that we got all of our nerves and shakes out," Fossum said. "Hopefully, next week we can come out and be one of the top contenders. It's going to be a close meet, that's for sure."

Team scores: Dickinson 144.925, Mandan 125.1, Wahpeton 118.8

All around

1, Acacia Fossum, D, 37.2. 2, Mikaela Kessel, D, 35.975. 3, Keana Kudrna, D, 35.4. 4, Chantal Urlacher, D, 35.125. 5, Jill Mueller, D, 33.95. 6, Mckenzie Kostelecky, D, 33.5. 7, Kati Kruckenberg, M, 33.325. 8, Shannon Thompson, W, 31.15. 9, Kiara Bassingthwaite, W, 30.35. 10, Makenzie Heiser, D, 30.3.

Vault

1, Keana Kudrna, D, 9.3. 2, Acacia Fossum, D, 9.225. 3, Mckenzie Kostelecky, D, 9.2. 4, Mikaela Kessel, D, 9.125. (tie) 5, Jill Mueller, D, 8.95; Kati Kruckenberg, M, 8.95; Chantal Urlacher, D, 8.95. 8, Elise Pietron, W, 8.875. 9, Makenzie Heiser, D, 8.725. 10, Shannon Thompson, W, 8.525.

Uneven bars

1, Acacia Fossum, D, 9.55. 2, Chantal Urlacher, D, 9.0. 3, Mckenzie Kostelecky, D, 8.8. 4, Keana Kudrna, D, 8.55. 5, Jill Mueller, D, 8.35. 6, Mikaela Kessel, D, 8.0. 7, Makenzie Heiser, D, 7.95. 8, Kati Kruckenberg, M, 7.45. 9, Mckenzie Swallow, M, 7.15. 10, Kiara Bassingthwaite, W, 6.8.

Balance beam

1, Mikaela Kessel, D, 9.55. 2, Acacia Fossum, D, 9.15. 3, Chantal Urlacher, D, 8.65. 4, Mckenzie Swallow, M, 8.55. 5, Kati Kruckenberg, M, 8.375. 6, Keana Kudrna, D, 8.275. 7, Jill Mueller, D, 7.95. 8, Kaytlyn Bowers, M, 7.9. 9, Marissa Koppy, M, 7.725. 10, Shannon Thompson, W, 7.25.

Floor exercise

1, Mikaela Kessel, D, 9.3. (tie) 2, Acacia Fossum, D, 9.275; Keana Kudrna, D, 9.275. 4, Jill Mueller, D, 8.7. 5, Shannon Thompson, W, 8.625. 6, Kati Kruckenberg, M, 8.55. 7, Chantal Urlacher, D, 8.525. 8, Mckenzie Kostelecky, D, 8.5. 9, Kennedy Wixo, W, 8.375. 10, Kiara Bassingthwaite, W, 8.35.

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Royal McGregor
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