Preston wins on gymnastics' individual day: Midgets place five in top 20
BISMARCK -- Closing a chapter to which a person has devoted their life is a difficult thing to do. And for Fargo South senior gymnast Chelsea Preston, it was no different Saturday during the North Dakota state individual gymnastics meet at Centur...
BISMARCK -- Closing a chapter to which a person has devoted their life is a difficult thing to do.
And for Fargo South senior gymnast Chelsea Preston, it was no different Saturday during the North Dakota state individual gymnastics meet at Century High School.
Preston made a tremendous showing at the individual competition of the state gymnastics meet, taking championships in vault, bars, floor exercise and an achieving the top all around score of 37.683.
"It's over," was the most Preston could say through tears.
Preston finished her high school gymnastics career with a total of seven North Dakota state individual championships, as well as the North Dakota senior athlete of the year award.
"I think Chelsea really deserved it," Dickinson High senior Mara VanElls said. "I was really excited just to be nominated for it."
VanElls finished her high school gymnastics career by taking 11th in the all around, falling just one spot short of her goal to place in the top 10.
"Even so, I was excited to get up there," VanElls said. "I've never placed in the top 15 at a state meet before."
VanElls was fifth on the vault, tied for eighth on beam, and tied with Midgets eighth grader Kelsey Dukart for ninth place on the bars.
Dukart placed seventh in the all around and third on both the vault and floor.
"I feel I did pretty good," Dukart said. "I didn't do as well as I hoped on beam because I fell and had a lot of wobbles."
Dickinson eighth grader Brogan Burwick had a fifth-place finish in the all around with 35.9 points and took second on the beam, third on bars and fourth on vault. She was the highest all around placer for the Midgets.
"I feel I finished it up pretty good," Burwick said. "There were some things I didn't score as well (in) as I did yesterday. I guess I'll do it next time."
Dickinson sophomore Marie Franzen took fourth place on the beam with a score of 9.050.
"It's one of the few times I've gotten a nine by sticking my whole routine," Franzen said. "All of my other events seemed to go pretty well, about average or how I normally do. It was a nice thing to get in the all around too because this is the first time that I've placed at state."
Franzen took 13th in the all around.
"We did not have as good of a meet as we did yesterday, overall," said Midgets coach Kent VanElls, who was named the state's coach of the year. "I think it was determination for the team that motivated them yesterday. When you want it for the team, this is just gravy, extra. Despite that, we still have a lot of place winners."
The Midgets won the team title on Friday.
Junior Lexi Stickel tied for ninth place and freshman Brooke Sickler placed 12th in the vault. Freshman Melissa Bachamp tied for sixth on the floor and junior Jennifer Bachamp placed ninth on the floor.
"I'm proud of what they did," Kent VanElls said. "I think the girls are proud of what they did. It was a great weekend."
Notes: It was reported in Friday's gymnastics story two Dickinson gymnasts didn't compete on the state title team. However, Lexi Stickel, Brooke Stickler, Mara VanElls, Jennifer Bachamp, Marie Franzen, Melissa Bachamp, Kelsey Dukart and Brogan Burwick all competed for Dickinson as they won the team title.