|1/31/2013 11:56:00 AM|
Vikings look forward to sections as they heat up
North Branch is approaching school records for scores, despite missing senior captain Bayley Ertl, who may be back by the postseason
BY JEFF NORTON
Although it was intended to be a varsity only tournament, the North Branch gymnastics team had to call on a few junior varsity competitors at the Princeton Invitational. With some bumps and bruises afflicting the Lady Vikes, they had to call on some reserves as they finished in fourth place out of eight teams with a team total of 129.375.
Katy Trunk was second on the vault with a 9.3, third on the uneven bars, ninth on the floor exercise and third overall in the all-around scores with a 33.90. Seventh grader Alexys Olson place fourth on the vault, bars and floor and second on the beam en route to a second place overall finish in the all-around. Casey Hovland earned a fourth place on the balance beam.
North Branch 132.825, Irondale 128.450
The Irondale/Spring Lake Park co-op has been tough to guage this year. Although they hadn’t been at North Branch’s level previously, they got a girl back from club gymnastics this year and she is one of the top performers in the conference. She didn’t make up the difference, however, as North Branch still cruised to the victory even without the still-injured Bayley Ertl.
The Vikings just barely missed a clean sweep on the vault. Trunk placed first, Olson was third, Maddy Pantalion was fourth, Gina Amundson was fifth and Jaime Salo was sixth. On the unever bars, Olson got second, Trunk third and fifth went to Maranda Nelson, a North Branch gymnast who is battling back from a foot injury earlier in the year.
On the balance beam, Hovland, Trunk, Olson and Nelson went two-three-four-five in the event. In the floor exercise, Trunk took second place, Hovland took third, and Olson fourth. Trunk was the all-around with a score of 34.70. Olson finished third in the all-around while Salo finished fifth.
The team score of 132.825 was the highest of the year for the Vikings and only two points away from the school record. “The season is going to wind down fast as we finish the final weeks of dual meets and head to sections and our conference meet, and with the combination of luck and skill, on to the state meet,” Head Coach Barb Burdick said. “Our returning state gymnast Katy Trunk, is healthy and having a great season. Senior captain Bayley Ertl is on the mend and we are hoping to get her in on two events at the conference meet. “We also have a welcome add to the team, as a seventh grader Alexys Olson is really doing well, and looks like she might also be a contender for the state meet.”
The Vikings close their season with a Saturday, Feb. 2 meet against Forest Lake and a Tuesday, Feb. 5 North Suburban Conference meet against reigning champions St. Francis. The Forest Lake meet is at 11 a.m. in the FL Field House and the St. Francis meet is at 6 p.m. at St. Francis High School.