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Pssst...Dickinson's domination in gymnastic is no longer a secret

Midgets enter the 2022/23 season as six-time defending state champions and launched their new season by topping the podium every team and individual event.

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Addison Fitterer in mid-air during her floor routine.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — What was once a quiet whisper on the Western Edge has evolved into a widely known fact: The Dickinson Midgets’ gymnastic is, as six state titles in as many years indicates, the best team in the state.

In the season opener in Dickinson, where they competed against Minot, Jamestown, Mandan and Northwest on Friday, Dec. 2, the girls got their season started on the right foot by winning with typical dominance. Dickinson took first in all four events, as well as claimed every individual medal enroute to topping winner’s podium.

The off-season was anything but, as the Midgets' drive for perfection saw the team make leaps and bounds in development. On Friday Dickinson showed the results of their hard work in earning the all around title and a team score of 149.100.

Two of their state title holders, eighth grader Elizabeth Karsky and junior Addison Fitterer led the team and winning three of the categories between the two. Following in order was Rylee Olson, Reygan Strommen, Aspen Roadarmel and Brooklyn Wariner.

Karsky was named the all-around winner — just as she did at state last season— with a score of 37.150.

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“I knew that if the girls hit that we would score pretty well because we were looking good and they have all made some major improvements from last year,” Casey Berry, DHS gymnastic coach, said. “I didn’t expect them to hit so cleanly, but they did great and it was a fantastic meet and starting off the year with that high of a score is really awesome.”

Dickinson had their strongest victories in the uneven bars (37.200) and floor routine (38.050), holding the top seven and six spots respectively. Karsky won the bars, landing a 9.65 and 9.45 for a 9.550 average. Fitterer came in second, taking a 9.5 on her first go.

Strommen took first on floor (9.575) and was closely followed by junior athlete Olson (9.550). Olson would also take second on the balance beam (9.100) and third in vault (9.200) for a third place finish in the all around (36.675). Berry said that Strommen's improvement has been astronomical since last year and looks forward to what she will bring after finishing fourth all around, with a 36.450 score.

Fitterer took a near perfect 9.7 average on the beam for her first place finish that had Berry incredibly proud.

“Addison [Fitterer] was awesome,” Berry said. “She was just so beautiful on the beam. It is really lovely to watch.”

Taking third in beam was freshman Dolyniuk, but just barely with Minot’s Haley Conklin tailing close behind. The sophomore would also take a fourth place finish in vault with a solid 9.2 average.

Amy Fridley, their two-time vault state champion, has decided to compete in USA Gymnastics after earning a level 10 ranking — the highest ranking in the competition. Fridley, continuing to serve as a team manager, was there and showed great enthusiasm when Karsky secured first place in vault with a 9.65.

Dickinson will certainly be doing cartwheels after their strong start and will have another opportunity to shine at home with their next invite slated for Friday, Dec. 9.

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Team Scores:
1, DHS, 149.100; 2,Minot, 134.450; 3,MHS, 129.250; 4,JHS, 127.125; 5,NWS, 119.425.

Vault:
1, Elizabeth Karsky, 9.650; 2, Reygan Strommen, 9.500; Rylee Olson, 9.200.

Beam: 1, Addison Fitterer, 9.700; 2, Olson, 9.100; 3, Brooke Dolyniuk, 9.025.

Floor:
1, Strommen, 9.575; 2, Olson, 9.550; 3, Karsky, 9.475.

Bars:
1, Karsky, 9.550; 2, Fitterer, 9.400; 3, Aspen Roadarmel, 9.375.

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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