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Two Lakers get through to State in Tough Field

02/20/2018, 12:30pm CST
By Tom Schardin

For the seventh straight season, the Prior Lake gymnastics team will be represented at the state meet.

The Lakers had two individual qualifiers — sophomore Seleena Wallace and eighth-grader Kyra Hanson — at the Section 2AA competition Feb. 16 at Lakeville South.

Prior Lake ended up third in the team standings out of eight schools with a score of 142.25. Third-ranked Lakeville North won the crown (150.050), followed by No. 7 Lakeville South (147.175).

New Prague was fourth (140.95), followed by Chanhassen (135.90), Chaska (135.10), Bloomington Jefferson (128.65) and Bloomington Kennedy (28.150).

"It was a great meet for us," Lakers coach Barb Kass. "We are sending two individuals to state."

Lakeville North is the defending state champion, while Lakeville South has been ranked as high as No. 2 this season. So the Section 2AA field is very strong.

The winning team makes the state field. The top-three qualify in the all-around and the top six in the four individual events, not including the three all-around qualifiers, also make state.

The Class 2A state team tournament is Feb. 23, while the individual competition is the next day. Both days are held at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion starting at 6 p.m.

The last time the Lakers qualified for state as a team was in 2013 when the team finished seventh. The last time Prior Lake didn't have at least one individual at state was in 2011.

In the Section 2AA competition, Wallace was fourth in the vault with a score of 9.375 and ended up fifth on the uneven bars (9.025) to qualify in both of those events. Hanson made state on the balance beam (9.375) taking fifth. Both will be making their first-ever trips to state.

Wallace was also in the hunt in the all-around, finishing sixth (36.050), which was .750 off the third-place finisher. Hanson just missed a state spot on the floor exercise taking sixth (9.425), which was one spot of a berth.

Wallace was 12th on the floor (9.050) and 17th on the beam (8.6), while Hanson was 14th on the bars (8.725).

Senior Kaylie Kizer had a top-10 finish on the beam for the Lakers taking 10th (9.050). She was also 18th on the floor (8.8).

Other finishes for the Lakers: eighth-grader Gretchen McCann on the vault (15th, 8.925), eighth-grader Kyle Thompson on the floor (21st, 8.725) and the beam (21st, 8.425), sophomore Maddie Tschida on the floor (23rd, 8.6), sophomore Josie Baldzicki on the bars (17th, 8.575) and on the beam (34th, 6.625), ninth-grader Hannah Walter on the bars (28th, 8.125) and on the vault (20th, 8.650) and senior Doris Mor on the vault (26th, 8.425).

The Lakers' section team total of 142.25 was off from their best score of the season of 143.4, which the team had in its final South Suburban Conference meet back on Feb. 5 against Eagan. Prior Lake also posted a 142.875 in a league meet against Farmington Jan. 30.

The best team score in program history is 143.775 in which the Lakers achieved last year in section competition.

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