Acacia Fossum paces Dickinson High Midgets gymnastics to West Region title
MINOT -- Minot High senior Hannah Werchau has led the way for the Majettes all season. On Friday, her teammates watched with bated breath as she took to the balance beam, with team results of the West Region meet already determined in favor of Di...
MINOT -- Minot High senior Hannah Werchau has led the way for the Majettes all season.
On Friday, her teammates watched with bated breath as she took to the balance beam, with team results of the West Region meet already determined in favor of Dickinson.
"She just showed that senior strength and leadership, and pulled off one of the best routines I've seen her do all year," Minot co-coach Marisa Albertson said.
With all eyes on her, Werchau proceeded to execute the day's highest scoring beam routine, which was followed swiftly by an enthused wave of praise and excitement from her teammates and coaches.
"To me, what's more impressive is that she just doesn't give up no matter what happens," Albertson said. "I hope our younger girls can learn from that."
Led by Werchau - one of two senior leaders for the Majettes - Minot's young team finished second in Friday's region meet at Gymagic.
But Dickinson's experienced squad took the title by a distance.
"I think Dickinson's the strong team, obviously," Minot co-coach Robbie Werchau said. "They have a bit more depth than we do and I think they are very consistent, where we've struggled a little bit with our consistency."
Led by defending state all-around champion Acacia Fossum, per the usual, the Midgets claimed the West Region championship with a team score of 148.7, just under seven full points above their nearest competitor. Runner-up Minot took second at 141.75, while Jamestown (137.675), Bismarck (136.95) and Century (135.925) respectively rounded out the top five.
Just as it was two weeks ago at Minot's Kim Lupo Memorial, Dickinson placed three all-around competitors in the top four.
"I was pretty pleased," Dickinson coach Kent VanElls said. "We didn't have a lot of trouble. We did well."
Boosted by a vault score more than four tenths of a point higher than her nearest competitor, Dickinson senior Keana Kudrna took second in the all-around, while teammate Ayanna Fossum, an eighth-grader, finished fourth.
Hannah Werchau placed third in the all-around behind winning scores in bars and beam, but a rare fall in her floor routine hampered her contention for Friday's individual title.
Dickinson's top three contenders claimed the top three spots in floor - led a first-place effort from Acacia Fossum - while the Midgets also placed at least two in the top three of every other event.
With consistency like that, VanElls likes his team's chances at next weekend's state meet.
"We still need that fourth score - and today we tended to get it - but when those three are hitting it's a real good thing to have," he said. "It seems to me like all three of them had a good meet."
"There's some good talent in the state right now, and Dickinson has three of the top four all-arounders," Albertson said.
Minot freshmen Olivia Schoffstall and Adisynn Widdel checked in behind Hannah Werchau in a seventh-place score in the all-around. Schoffstall's day was highlighted by a fourth-place mark on bars, while Widdel placed fourth in floor and sixth in vault.
The state meet begins with the team competition Friday in Jamestown, followed by the individual portion Saturday afternoon. With just days to prepare, VanElls - whose team has yet to finish lower than first at any meet this season - is confident behind the strength of his three all-around contenders.
"Acacia, Keana and Ayanna all had good days today," he said. "Those three are the backbone of our team. No question about it."
Joe Mellenbruch covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @Mellenbruch_MDN.
West Region MeetFridayat GymagicMinot Team scores: 1. Dickinson 148.700, 2. Minot 141.750; 3. Jamestown 137.675, 4. Bismarck 136.950, 5. Century 135.925, 6. Mandan 123.125, 7. Legacy 121.400. Vault: 1. Keana Kudrna, Dickinson, 9.800; 2. Hannah Werchau, Minot, 9.400; 3. Ayanna Fossum, Dickinson, 9.400; 4. ACacia Fossum, Dickinson, 9.375; 5. Rachel Dillman, Bismarck, 9.350; 6. Adisynn Widdel, Minot, 9.250; 7. Erin Hillerud, Jamestown, 9.100; 7. Savannah Fix, Minot, 9.100; 9. Julia Redwing, Century, 9.050; 10. Meghan Ackerman, Dickinson, 8.900. Bars: 1. Hannah Werchau, Minot, 9.625; 2. Acacia Fossum, Dickinson, 9.600; 3. Keana Kudrna, Dickinson, 9.450; 4. Olivia Schoffstall, Minot, 9.100; 5. Julia Redwing, Century, 9.050; 6. Rachel Dillman, Bismack, 8.950; 7. Ayanna Fossum, Dickinson, 8.800; 8. Kate Dillman, Bismarck, 8.775; 9. Faith Beck, Dickinson, 8.750; 10. Rachel Schiele, Jamestown, 8.550. Beam: 1. Hannah Werchau, Minot, 9.425; 2. Ayanna Fossum, Dickinson, 9.375; 3. Acacia Fossum, Dickinson, 9.350; 4. Julia Redwing, Century, 9.075; 5. Dacia Rambousek, Dickinson, 8.925; 6. Keana Kudrna, Dickinson, 8.825; 7. Hannah Schiele, Jamestown, 8.650; 8. Zoe Prince, Legacy, 8.625; 9. Morgan Salwei, Bismarck, 8.600; 10. Faith Beck, Dickinson, 8.525. Floor results: 1. Acacia Fossum, Dickinson, 9.775; 2. Keana Kudrna, Dickinson, 9.750; 3. Ayanna Fossum, Dickinson, 9.675; 4. Adisynn Widdel, Minot, 9.550; 5. Erin Hillerud, Jamestown, 9.525; 6. Rachel Dillman, Bismarck, 9.500; 7. Savannah Fix, Minot, 9.250; 8. Zoe Prince, Legacy, 9.100; 9. Hannah Werchau, Minot, 9.075; 10. Madison Mandan, Jamestown, 9.050. All-Around: 1. Acacia Fossum, Dickinson, 38.100; 2. Keana Kudrna, Dickinson, 37.825; 3. Hannah Werchau, Minot, 37.525; 4. Ayanna Fossum, Dickinson, 37.250; 5. Rachel Dillman, Bismarck, 36.250; 6. Julia Redwing, Century, 36.100; 7. Olivia Schoffstall, Minot, 34.925; 7. Adyisynn Widdel, Minot, 34.925; 9. Faith Beck, Dickinson, 34.625; 10. Zoe Prince, Legacy, 34.600.