Etterman all-around winner; Warriors 5th
Featuring more moves than a new Maytag washing machine, the Brainerd Warriors twisted, turned, flipped and spun their way to a fifth-place finish in the Brainerd Holiday Invitational Saturday.
Katy Etterman continued to lead the way for the Warriors, but with quality opponents like the Park of Cottage Grove Wolfpack and Big Lake Hornets, Saturday was a measuring stick for younger gymnasts, like sophomore Jackie Caughey and freshman Lonie Anderson.
“It’s nice to compete in an arena that has great competitors and top quality judges,” Warriors coach Dave Maras said. “When (the younger girls) walk out of here, they’re going to know who they are and what they need to do to improve. I couldn’t ask for a meet where I felt everybody was on the same page. It was a great meet.”
Caughey, who finished 19th with an all-around score of 30.8 had her best performance on the floor, meriting an 8.35 (24th) followed by vault at 8.05 (25th).
Meanwhile, Anderson finished just behind Caughey in 20th with a score of 30.6. Anderson’s best performance came on the floor exercise, scoring an 8.175, followed by vault at 8.10, scores strong enough for 26th and 24th place.
“We do have a smattering (of younger gymnasts),” Maras said. “A lot of kids are contributing, but it is such a hit and miss type of deal. Right now, Mikayla Cerney, Lonie Anderson, and Madison Grausam are contributing an awful lot.”
Grausam finished 16th at 31.9, including an 8.25 on the uneven bars while Cerney scored an 8.45 on floor, an 8.0 on bars, and 7.725 on balance beam.
“We had our best kids on every event,” Maras said,” but we also had other kids that we feel needed to compete at this level to get the experience.”
The future for the Warriors is bright with an abundance of young talent, but as the underclassmen work on their routines and gain experience, the season belongs to Katy Etterman and the upperclassmen.
Entering her final event, Etterman needed to score a 9.2 on the floor exercise to surpass the Wolfpack’s Kasondra Tulloch’s all-around score of 36.925. Etterman responded by posting the meet’s best score in the event with a 9.5 for an all-around total of 37.325.
Warrior captains Claire Campbell and Olivia Elsenpeter saw limited action Saturday with Campbell scoring a 7.375 on beam and Elsenpeter an 8.3 on vault.
While the Warriors finished fifth, Maras was optimistic about this team and its effort.
“They’re working hard collectively as a team to bring their team score up,” Maras said. “Everyone is working on their routines, they’re all getting better and they are all working really hard.”
Team scores: 1- Park 144.2, 2-Big Lake 139.825, 3-Lakeville North 136.025, 4-Melrose 135.7, 5-Brainerd 133.925, 6-Moorhead 121.3, 7-St. Paul Johnson 104.4
Uneven parallel bars: 1-Kasondra Tulloch (P) 9.6, 2-Katy Etterman (Brd) 9.55, 15-Mikayla Cerney (Brd) 8.0
Balance beam: 1-Kelly McKenzie (P) 5-Etterman 8.775, 17-Madison Grausam (Brd) 8.25
Floor exercise: 1-Etterman 9.5, 20-Cerney 8.45, 24-Jackie Caughey 8.35
Vault: 1-Tulloch (P) 9.6, 2-Etterman 9.5, 17-Olivia Elsenpeter 8.3
All-around: 1-Etterman 37.325, 16-Grausam 31.9, 19- Caughey 30.8
Next: Brainerd hosts Little Falls 6 p.m. Jan. 4.