MAHACA finishes second in first meet at home

The MAHACA gymnastics team got their season started with a home meet in Morris Dec. 2. The Tigers were one of four teams competing in the meet and they finished in second place, behind New London-Spicer.

During this meet, each team was allowed eight gymnasts to compete per event. “This provides the coaches with consistency for their team, same meet, same judge. It helps to see where the gymnasts are at,” head coach Trent Oberg said.

Before the meet, the top five gymnasts must be pre-selected at each event for meet scoring purposes. From those gymnasts, the highest four scores are added together to get the event score for the respective team. “At this time in the season, it might come down to a coin flip for who the five are,” Oberg said.

New London-Spicer was the top team in the meet with a total of 136.65 points. MAHACA came in second place with 117.8 points, narrowly beating out Park Rapids/Nevis by 0.15 points. Long Prairie/Grey Eagle came in fourth with a team score of 106.1.

According to Oberg, the coaches did their best to keep the meet as “relaxed, low key and fun as possible.”

The Tigers started the competition on the uneven bars. The team had the second most points on the uneven bars with a total score of 24.2. Kaylin Steen led the team with a score of 6.9, and Heika Hall was not far behind with a score of 6.0. Josie Marquart tied her personal best score with a 5.5. “This is one event that we need to work on. It has been a challenge for us over the years; upper body strength, form, flow, connection and difficulty. We definitely need to practice full routines more often,” Oberg said.

Next up for the Tigers was the beam, where they finished third as a team with a score of 28.85. Harmony Coverday had the third best score in the meet with a personal best 8.65. Josie Marquart recorded her personal best score of 7.3 and Braelyn Hamling added a score of 7.0, which was another personal best for a MAHACA gymnast.

In the third rotation, the Tigers were on the floor. Assistant coach Jodi Snell has been working hard with the gymnasts to finalize their routines before the first meet. The team finished with a score of 30.55 to finish second on the floor. Coverdale led the team with a score of 8.5 to finish fifth in the meet. Kaylin Steen had a score of 7.4, Heika Hall added a 7.35 routine, Marquart scored a 7.3 and Hazel Hall had a personal best score of 7.2. “The girls have been working hard, pushing each other, cheering each other on and helping each other with creating and choreographing routines. They’ve become a cohesive team that has so much potential, it’s awe inspiring,” Snell said.

The last event of the meet for the Tigers was the vault. “This is going to be an exciting season at vault. We have a group of girls that are trying new vaults and cleaning up their form and the scores were reflective of that,” Oberg said.

As a team, the Tigers were second with a score of 34.2 in vault, which beat their season high from a year ago. Of the seven gymnasts competing for MAHACA, all of them had a score of at least 8.0. Steen led the team with an 8.7 and placed fifth in the meet. Heika Hall added a score of 8.6, Hazel Hall finished at 8.5 and Coverdale finished with an 8.4.

In the all-around individual competition, Coverdale had a strong performance with a combined score of 31.35 to finish second to set a new personal best. Steen also placed with a personal best all-around score of 29.2 to finish fifth. Hazel Hall and Marquart also had personal best scores of 26.1 and 28.3, respectively.

The next competition for the Tiger gymnastics team will be another home meet in Morris against Benson/KMS on Friday, December 8.