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Six straight at State! Midgets gymnastics maintains its crown

Midgets earn sixth state title with an overall score of 148.500, defeating second place by over two points.

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Dickinson athletes cheer on their teammate during their balance beam routine. (Photo courtesy of John Steiner)

The streak continues for Dickinson High after earning its sixth-consecutive gymnastics state title with a score validating opponent fears that the young Dickinson team will be difficult to de-throne for years to come.

Fans speculated if this was the year the streak would come to an end with the Midgets’ former head coach Kent Van Ells declaring retirement and its top gymnasts graduating. The Midgets answered those speculations with an overall score of 148.500, defeating the second place Valley City by 2.750 points, silencing any doubt that Dickinson’s reign was no more.

For Casey Berry, new head coach of the Midgets, the garnered title marks her first as head coach in the Dickinson High School gymnastics program as its lead.

“It was a great win, it was a lot of fun. We’re feeling great,” Berry said. “It feels great and they’re still young and that’s what makes it even better.”

During team competition on Friday, the Midgets dominated every aspect of the competition — taking first in all four competing categories. The team earned a score of 37.517 on the vault, 37.083 on the beam, 38.017 on the floor, and 35.883 on the bars.

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Following the Midgets title winning score of 148.500, many were surprised to see Valley City take second with 145.750 over Jamestown who claimed bronze with 144.400. Jamestown was considered the chief competition for Dickinson, with many wondering if the WDA silver medal team could squeak a narrow victory.

“It’s just a good feeling. We’re young and to be able to get that kind of a score with seventh, ninth and 10th graders is really awesome,” Berry said.

Following the team’s state championship victory on Friday, the Midgets, led by sophomore Amy Fridley, looked to have a strong day in the individual competition.

All eyes were on the Dickinson sophomore to see if she would become the state champion after she placed fourth last season. After hours of practice throughout the offseason and the regular season, the young gymnast felt no pressure, only confidence in her abilities.

Fridley dazzled the Jamestown gymnasium by placing first on the bars with 9.650, first on the floor with 9.667, first on the vault with 9.833. Fridley placed third on the beam with 9.250, her teammate Brooklyn Deguzman placed second with 9.433 just falling behind Legacy’s Zoe Prince who scored 9.500.

As a result of her stellar performances, placing first in nearly all of her competitions throughout the season, Fridley became the all-around state champion with a combined score of 38.400.

“I’m feeling really good,” Fridley said. “I had a really good meet today, that was really cool.”

While the sophomore was happy with her overall performance, and credited herself for all the hard work she put into the season, the developing leader shifted the praise to her teammates and coaches for helping the team succeed and motivate her to first place overall at state.

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“We were all really supportive of each other and it was just really cool how together we were for the state meet,” she said. “It was really an amazing year this year, for my team, for me, for some of my teammates too, they really had an amazing year.”

While the team will lose its lone senior in Mikah Schock, Dickinson made the message loud and clear, with the leadership of future juniors Fridley, Deguzman and future sophomore Addison Fitterer, the Midgets are going to be a mighty challenge throughout the upcoming years.

Related Topics: DICKINSONDICKINSON MIDGETSGYMNASTICS
Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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