Breaking in the new Gymagic

MHS gymnastics takes fourth in only home meet

Alex Eisen/MDN Minot High seventh grader Makenna Peterson goes horizontal in a vault Friday evening in the Kim Lupo Memorial meet at the Gymagic Gymnastics Center.

Hosting the final meet of the regular season, the Minot High School gymnastics team showed off its new Gymagic Gymnastics Center to teams from across the West Region.

However, not everything went exactly as planned.

“It was our first meet in this new facility,” MHS coach Robbie Werchau said. “It was our first time using this scoring program. There were some glitches, but they were figured out and people were patient. They were understanding of the situation.”

Music levels for the floor routines also fluctuated from time to time, but the Kim Lupo Memorial meet persisted on. Perhaps best to chalk this one up as a learning experience for the Majettes and for the community in hosting at this new venue, which opened in September.

When it was all said and done, Dickinson came out on top with 146.500 points with Bismarck High (138.100) and Legacy (135.200) filling the podium. Minot High nabbed fourth place with a team score of 134.775, beating out Grand Forks (133.675), Mandan (95.100) and non-full team Century (36.450).

Alex Eisen/MDN Minot High eighth grader Bella Price on the balance beam. She was Minot’s best all-around finisher, taking fifth place with a score of 36.475.

“I thought we did pretty well,” Werchau said. “We made some improvements and gained a little confidence today… It’s been really tight between us and Grand Forks and we edged them out for fourth place. Dickinson is just a tough team this year.”

Eighth grader Bella Price was Minot’s best all-around finisher with solid scores across all four events.

Price placed second on the balance beam, tied for third on floor, fourth on the bars and ninth on the vault to earn a fifth all-around placing.

Three of the four gymnasts that finished ahead of Price in the all-around won events.

Top honors went to Dickinson’s Ayanna Fossum, who had the best score on the floor and tied with teammate Dacia Rambousek for first place on the beam.

Bismarck’s Julia Red Wing took second all-around with a first-place tie on the uneven bars with Dickinson’s Meghan Ackerman.

The other event winner in the vault was Bismarck’s Kate Dillman, who took fourth in the all-around behind Dickinson’s Teghan Hoff in third place.

Minot’s youthful squad, with one senior surrounded by underclassmen and middle schoolers, didn’t see much success outside of Price. Yet, results aren’t defining these Majettes.

With such a young team, Werchau just likes to see consistent improvement.

“We are working on (improving) our difficulty and gaining some confidence along the way,” she said. “So, I thought our girls did well tonight.”

The Majettes got Top 15 individual results from eighth grader Olivia Spengler in the vault (seventh), bars (tied 14th) and floor (15th), as well as seventh grader Mackenzie Strange on bars (12th), senior Grace Shanklin on beam (11th) and freshman Jordyn Kitzman on beam (15th).

“They are understanding what it means to compete,” Werchau said. “They are not giving up. Maybe things don’t go great, but they figure out how to keep going. How to work through it.”

The Majettes have two weeks to prepare before heading to Dickinson for the WDA Regional meet on Feb. 16. The state meet will take place Feb. 23-24 in Jamestown.

Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.