Dickinson's Kostelecky wants to go out on high noteWhen senior Mckenzie Kostelecky began her varsity high school gymnastics career as a seventh-grader, she helped the Dickinson Midgets win a state championship.
When senior Mckenzie Kostelecky began her varsity high school gymnastics career as a seventh-grader, she helped the Dickinson Midgets win a state championship.
A year later, Kostelecky was on the Dickinson Trinity volleyball court as a setter.
Kostelecky wasn’t shy to say that might have been the wrong idea. It also turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“I wasn’t very good,” Kostelecky said with a laugh. “Not competing that one year made me want to compete even more and work harder.”
However, there was a little hesitation returning back to gymnastics, because Kostelecky had grown three-plus inches in one year. She was 4-foot-9 after as seventh-grader and sprouted to more than 5 feet the following year.
“What can happen when a gymnast has a growth spurt (is they) can change their timing and the physics changes as well,” Dickinson head coach Kent Van Ells said.
Nonetheless, Kostelecky was eager to get back to gymnastics and Van Ells said she didn’t miss a beat coming back.
Fast forward three years later and Kostelecky is in the midst of a successful senior season and is preparing for her final home and West Region meet of her high school career at 5 p.m. today.
“It’s definitely going to be an emotional night for me,” Kostelecky said. “I cried at parent’s night (on Thursday). I’m usually not a crier, but this is my last time to go out with a bang.”
Midgets senior Chantal Urlacher feels the same way.
“It seems like yesterday we were seventh-graders doing our first varsity meet,” said Urlacher, a senior at Dickinson Trinity. “Now going out there with a very good chance to be West Region and state champions is a great feeling.”
One aliment Kostelecky has been dealing with since her sophomore season is that her shoulder tends to pop out of place. She said it can happen during class when she is sitting down.
She had to withhold from competing in one meet this season because her shoulder kept popping out. But she doesn’t plan to spend any time off the mat in the final two weeks.
“No matter, I still plan on going out,” Kostelecky said. “These are my last two meets.”
Kostelecky said it has been difficult the last four years taking runner-up to Minot in the race for the state team title. But with five gymnasts scoring 36 points or higher, the Midgets are in prime position to fight for both West Region and state titles.
“I feel like this is our best season to win it,” Kostelecky said. “We have all those gymnasts that are good. Our biggest competition right now is Minot.”
Freshman Keana Kudrna said it’s going to be tough to see Kostelecky go. Kudrna has been in gymnastics with Kostelecky since she was five.
“I think this is going to be one of the toughest seasons to let the seniors go,” Kudrna said. “I’ve been there since I was really little. It’s going to so hard. We are so close to each other and we’re just like sisters.”