Burwick ready for final round

Dickinson High gymnast Brogan Burwick said she genuinely considered hanging up her leotard at the beginning of her senior year. But after spending two months away from the sport, she knew she had to return to the gym for her final season. "I'm re...

Brogan Burwick
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson High senior Brogan Burwick puts some air between her and the balance beam during her routine on Feb. 10 at the Glenn Heiser Invitational. Burwick, a two-time state champion, wraps up her stellar career this weekend at the Class A state gymnastics meet.

Dickinson High gymnast Brogan Burwick said she genuinely considered hanging up her leotard at the beginning of her senior year.

But after spending two months away from the sport, she knew she had to return to the gym for her final season.

"I'm really glad I came back," Burwick said. "It was the best decision I've ever made."

Burwick, the Midgets' lone senior and only state champion on the roster, leads the team into the Class A state team and individual championships today and Saturday, respectively, at Jamestown High School.

"It's really exciting and kind of nerve-wracking. It's going to be a bittersweet thing," Burwick said. "It'd be really nice to add another state title to my career, but however it ends up, I'm satisfied with what I've done."


Regardless of how well she does at the meet, Burwick will end her career as one of the best gymnasts in Midgets history.

Not only did she help Dickinson to back-to-back state titles in 2007 and 2008, she is a two-time state champion, winning the 2008 uneven bars and the 2009 balance beam titles. She is also a two-time West Region champion in the bars.

In winning the bars title as a freshman, Burwick and teammate Jennifer Bachamp -- now the Midgets' assistant coach -- became the team's first gymnasts to win individual state championships since 1991.

Burwick also finished second in the all-around that year, coming within 0.1 of a point from winning the championship.

"She's been one that has tended to get better during the season," Dickinson head coach Kent Van Ells said. "It seems to take her a while to get rolling, but she's been able to do her best at the end of the season."

The balance beam has been Burwick's standout event this season. She is sixth in the state average at 9.408 and tied teammate Mikaela Kessel with a 9.700 to win the Glenn Heiser Invitational on Feb. 10.

"Her beam is definitely her strong point," Van Ells said.

Burwick is still a threat on the bars, too. She's eighth in the state average heading into the championships and that has helped her claim the seventh-best all-around average this season.


"We expect beam and bars to be her money events," Van Ells said.

Like many upperclassmen gymnasts, Burwick's scores have progressively fallen throughout her final two seasons. Yet, her leadership role has increased -- a product of her being one of only two upperclassmen on Dickinson's large and talented roster.

Nevertheless, Van Ells said she remains the catalyst in the Midgets' chase for another team title -- something Burwick said she can't help but strive for.

"That would be the best thing that could happen right now," Burwick said. "That would just top off my career."

Van Ells confident Midgets can capture title

With a state championship up for grabs today, Van Ells has made a point of telling the Midgets that winning the title that has eluded them the past two seasons depends entirely on their own performances.

"There's no defense in gymnastics," Van Ells said. "You can't go out there and say, 'Well, we've got to hold them to fewer points.' We can't do that. If we go out there and do our job, there's a chance -- and it's a pretty good chance -- that we can win this thing."

Dickinson is looking for its eighth Class A state title today during team championship day. The Midgets have finished second to Minot High the past two years.


Despite a banner season filled with numerous high scores, the Midgets finished second to host Minot at the West Region meet last Saturday.

Dickinson finished the meet with a 146.750, which Van Ells said is the program's highest score at a region meet. Minot had a 148.175 to win.

"The thing is we know we can win the state meet. But we also know that after (the West Region), it isn't a gimme," Van Ells said.

At the West Region meet, seventh-grader Acacia Fossum won the uneven bars and took third in the all-around -- just her second all-around loss this season and first against North Dakota competition. Meanwhile, Kessel continued her torrid streak, winning the balance beam and finishing fifth in the all-around.

"The fact that we've had such a terrific year is because of the solid competition by the returners, and then the younger kids coming in," Van Ells said.

Van Ells said he is expecting another showdown with Minot.

Coming into the state meet, Dickinson is averaging a 147.810 team score and Minot sits at 144.610 -- a number skewed by a shaky start to a season hampered by early injuries. The rest of the field is nearly five points behind Minot.

"All we can do is what we can do," Van Ells said. "It'll be a real tough meet. I'd say it'll be a fun meet though. There's a good chance it's going down to the wire."

What To Read Next
Get Local