Midgets soar to a season-best scoreMinot High might have been absent at the Dickinson Invitational, but that didn’t stop the Midgets gymnastics team from holding back.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Minot High might have been absent at the Dickinson Invitational, but that didn’t stop the Midgets gymnastics team from holding back.
No. 1-ranked Dickinson High used a host of high scores to place first with season-high 149.15 team points on Saturday at DHS gymnasium.
“We are really happy about the score,” Dickinson head coach Kent Van Ells said. “Being that we are still missing one gymnast, Mckenzie Kostelecky, and to do it without her, it’s pretty exciting.”
Fargo Davies was the runner-up (133.85), while Valley City took third (132.5) and Fargo was fourth (129.35).
Because No. 2-ranked Minot wasn’t able to make it to the meet, the Midgets’ goals were set on increasing their individual and team averages. However, Dickinson treated the meet like Minot was in attendance.
“I think we just weren’t so nervous and we just let it happen,” Dickinson sophomore Mikaela Kessel said. “We did our best and I was so happy with the outcome.”
The Midgets were led by eighth-grader Acacia Fossum, who won the all-around with a career-best 38.475. Van Ells said before Fossum came on last season, the team didn’t have a gymnast that could score in the 38’s. Now that score is a common occurrence.
“This is Acacia’s fourth time that she’s broken 38,” Van Ells said. “I remember at one of her first meets as a seventh-grader, she had some good scores and we were kind of amazed. We thought, ‘Good heavens, could she score a 38? We’ve never had people that could score a 38.’ Now it’s not unusual, but it’s not going to happen every time.”
Fossum finished top in the all-around, uneven bars (9.725) and balance beam (9.525).
Kessel set a new personal best by grabbing the runner-up spot in the all-around (37.475). The sophomore gymnast won the floor exercise with a 9.8, one of the best scores of her career.
“I feel really good,” she said. “We went out there with a lot of confidence and a good attitude.”
Dickinson senior Shalesa Wariner made her own statement with a fourth-place finish in the all-around (36.375) and a victory in the vault (9.475).
“This is Shalesa’s season high,” Van Ells said. “It was a good day.”
Kostelecky, who is battling an injury, saw limited time in the meet. Though she had a modified bars routine, her performance was good enough for a tie for third.
“She helped us out on bars and that made a big point difference to have that extra score,” Fossum said.
The Midgets also got a solid performance from Keana Kudrna. The eighth-grader placed fifth in the all-around and had two top-five finishes. Her highest place was third in the vault (9.375).
“Keana did some modified events last week (in Rapid City, S.D.),” Van Ells said. “She was able to do all of her events this week and she was able to stick most of them.”
Dickinson final top placer was sophomore Jenna Mueller, who took third on the balance beam (9.475).
The Midgets’ season is more than halfway finished and Kessel said the team hasn’t had a perfect meet, though this was by far the closest.
“I just hope that we are getting better and better,” she said. “I think we have been improving this whole season and I hope this isn’t our peak. I hope we are peaking at WDA and state.”
Van Ells shared the same idea, but hopes his gymnasts don’t have a let down when the team travels to Minot on Friday.
“When you have a really good meet and have really high scores, there can be a let down,” Van Ells said. “They have to keep perspective that you can’t count on the scores even when you hit the event.”
Team scores: Dickinson High 149.15, Fargo Davies 133.85, Valley City 132.5, Fargo 129.35.
1, Acacia Fossum, D, 38.475. 2, Mikaela Kessel, D, 37.475. 3, Kiara Bock, FD, 36.775. 4, Shalesa Wariner, D, 36.375. 5, Keana Kudrna, D, 35.5. 6, Natasha Ussleman, F, 34.925.
1, Shalesa Wariner, D, 9.475. 2, Acacia Fossum, D, 9.45. 3, Keana Kudrna, D, 9.375. 4, Mikaela Kessel, D, 9.35. 5, Kiara Bock, FD, 9.225. t6, Natasha Ussleman, F, 8.95. t6, Leigh Bauer, FD, 8.95.
1, Acacia Fossum, D, 9.725. 2, Mikaela Kessel, D, 8.9. t3, Mckenzie Kostelecky, D, 8.65. t3, Kiara Bock, FD, 8.65. 5, Keana Kudrna, D, 8.35. 6, Shalesa Wariner, D, 8.275.
1, Acacia Fossum, D, 9.525. 2, Kiara Bock, FD, 9.5. 3, Jenna Mueller, D, 9.475. 4, Mikaela Kessel, D, 9.425. 5, Shalesa Wariner, D, 9.175. 6, Natasha Ussleman, F, 9.05.
1, Mikaela Kessel, D, 9.8. 2, Acacia Fossum, D, 9.775. 3, Shalesa Wariner, D, 9.45. t4, Kiara Bock, FD, 9.4. t4, Natasha Ussleman, F, 9.4. 6, Taylor Johnson, VC, 9.275.