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Tigers aiming high at state: Huron gymnasts to compete in state meet on Friday, Saturday in Rapid City

Posted: Friday, Feb 15th, 2013

Huron’s Hailey McCune performs on the vault. She qualified to compete during the individual competition on the vault, floor exercise and all-around. In the next photo, Huron’s Jessica Waldner executes a move on the balance beam. She has qualified to compete individually on the balance beam and floor exercise. Next, Huron’s Kelsey King goes through her floor exercise routine. She has qualified to compete individually in the uneven parallel bars, floor exercise and all-around. Next, Huron’s Tessa Musil performs her routine on the uneven parallel bars. She has qualified to compete individually on the balance beam and uneven parallel bards. And next, Huron’s Jordan Waldner goes through her routine on the balance beam. She has qualified to compete on the balance beam and floor exercise. PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN

RAPID CITY — Five Huron High School seniors will close their gymnastics careers at the Class AA State Meet, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Rapid City Stevens High School.

The Tigers are riding a huge wave of momentum heading into the season-ending event after eclipsing the school record twice in a span of less than a week in the final two competitions of the regular season. They posted a score of 138.075 to finish third in the Eastern South Dakota Conference meet on Feb. 2 to set a new all-time high team score and then surpassed that mark with a 139.5 a week ago at a dual meet in Mitchell.

“This year has been a terrific year for the Huron Tiger gymnastics team. The girls have achieved so much throughout the season,” Huron coach Julie King said.

“The girls are going into the state meet ready to compete. They have had an excellent season so far and are ready to compete hard at the state meet,” she said. “The highest Huron has placed at the state meet is fifth place, so it would be a huge accomplishment to match that or better it.”

Leading the way for the Tigers during the team competition, which begins at 11 a.m. on Friday, will be seniors Jessica Waldner, Lexy Chase, Kelsey King, Alex Wilde and Tessa Musil. Rounding out the roster will be juniors Chasidy Songer and Hailey McCune, along with sophomores Jordan Waldner, Cassidee King and Allie Brink.

Huron was seventh in the final team standings at the state meet a year ago.

“The key to a high finish is to hit all of our skills and have polished routines,” King said of her team’s approach to this year’s team competition. “The beam is always the event that makes or breaks your meet.

“This group of girls is one of the most veteran teams going into competition and will be able to handle the pressure of the state meet,” she said.

A total of 12 teams will compete on Friday, with Rapid City Central defending its title from a year ago. The Cobblers posted the top qualifying score for this year’s meet, with a 148.650.

After the team competition on Friday, the Tigers have five gymnasts who have qualified to compete in the Class AA individual event competition at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

“Individual day is the day for the girls to shine in the areas that they excel,” King said. “I am excited to see where they will end up at the end of the day on Saturday.”

King and McCune recorded a score of at least 33.00 during the ESD meet to qualify for the all-around competition on Saturday at the state meet. King also earned individual qualifications on the uneven parallel bars and floor exercise, while McCune qualified on the vault and floor exercise.

Musil turned in state-qualifying standards on the balance beam and uneven parallel bars, while Jessica Waldner and Jordan Waldner both qualified to compete individually on both the balance beam and floor exercise.

“These girls have a great chance of ending up on the award stand,” King said of her team’s participants in the individual competition. “They have all had an excellent season and it will be their day to show it off.”

The top 20 finishers in each event reach the award stand.

Individually, Chelsey Christensen of Rapid City Central will return to defend her titles in the uneven bars and floor exercise, while teammate Colette Christian is the defending champion in the vault, balance beam and all-around.

A total of 101 gymnasts will compete in the state meet.

For the complete article see the 02-14-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-14-2013 paper.

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