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Breakthrough Season Comes To An End

By Tom Schardin, 03/03/24, 6:15PM CST


The Prior Lake gymnastics team couldn’t reach its season-best Section 2AA score at the state competition Feb. 23 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul.

If the Lakers did, the team would have earned its best-ever state finish, sixth.  Prior Lake ended up eighth in the Class AA team standings with a score of 139.325.

Lakeville South, champions of the South Suburban Conference, won the title with a 147.400 total.  Cretin-Derham Hall finished in second place (144.900), followed by Hopkins (144.450), Forest Lake (144.425), St. Michael-Albertville (144.100), St. Cloud (143.650) and East Ridge (139.65).

Prior Lake won the Section 2AA title back on Feb. 16 with a team total of 141.875 to earn its first state team berth since 2013. That year, the Lakers ended up seventh in the team standings with score 141.025, while winning sections with a 140.625.

At state this time around, the best scoring event for Prior Lake was the floor exercise. Senior Reese Huston had the team’s top score with a 9.350, followed by juniors Annie Draine (8.795) and Brooklynne Thorson (8.75), ninth grader Clare Draine (8.625) and junior Ava Loftness (7.7).

The Lakers’ next-best event was the vault where Loftness led the team with a 9.425. Junior Kaylee Hawks had a score of 8.9, followed by Clare Draine (8.7), Thorson (8.65) and senior Anna Busker (8.525).

On the balance beam, Annie Draine had the team’s top score with a 9.1, followed by Clare Draine (9.025). Thorson was next (8.75), followed by senior Sofia Monn (8.725) and Loftness (8.175).

Anne Draine led Prior Lake on the uneven bars with a score of 8.475, followed by Clare Draine (8.05), Thorson (7.95), ninth grader Sofia Vold (7.875) and Loftness (6.575).

Loftness, Annie Draine, Clare Draine and Thorson also competed in the Class AA state individual competition the next day.

Loftness was the only Laker to compete in the all-around, finishing 24th with a score of 33.050. Her best event was the vault, where she ended up 13th with a score of (9.41),

Lofness was also 43rd on the uneven bars (7.975), 46th on the floor (8.15) and 48th on the beam (7.5).

Thorson and Annie Draine each competed in two events. Draine finished 29th on the beam (9.0275) and 36th on the uneven bars (8.5). Thorson ended up 30th on the floor (9.2) and 38th on the beam (8.45).

Clare Draine finished 43rd on the beam (8.16) for the Lakers.

Senior Jackie Bergeron of St. Michael-Albertville won the all-around title with a score of 38.60, while also taking first on the floor (9.7), the beam (9.62) and the vault (9.8).

Delaney Cunningham of Cretin-Derham Hall denied Bergeron the sweep of all four events, winning the uneven bars (9.73).

Prior Lake has had at least one gymnast at state in 15 of the last 16 years.