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Warrior Gymnastics: Third-ranked Tech outscores No. 16 Brainerd

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Brainerd Dispatch
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Either the St. Cloud Tech Tigers or Brainerd Warriors have won the last 13 Central Lakes Conference championships.

Based on Thursday’s meet at Brainerd High School that streak of dominance isn’t about to end.

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Class 2A’s unbeaten and third-ranked Tigers, who were sixth in the 2A state meet in 2011, won all four events and the all-around title Thursday in a 145.575-138.05 win over the 16th-ranked Warriors.

“Between the two of us we’ve pretty much taken care of it over the last 30 years,” Warriors coach Dave Maras said. “Fortunately, we have more numbers but they’re catching up quick.

“I always believe you’re only as good as the people you compete against. You only get better when you compete against people that are of your level and better.

“(Coaches) Joel and Colleen (Stark-Haws) have done a great job getting Tech moving. They’ve just been getting stronger. They just keep bringing them on.”

The Tigers’ Mariah Miller brought it in all of her events, winning the vault (9.5), uneven bars (9.35) and floor exercise (9.525), and capturing the all-around title (37.0).

Is Miller the next Alise Post, the former Tech standout who won three state vault titles?

“I don’t think there’s going to be another Alise Post, but Mariah is a very talented gymnast,” Joel Stark-Haws said. “Her consistency is amazing. She’s just easy to work with. She’s very coachable. Her consistency is great. You come to expect that from her in every meet to help us out.”

Paige Beuning gave the Tigers a clean sweep of the individual titles with a 9.250 on balance beam.

Brainerd’s Madison Grausam turned in a scintillating performance on floor, finishing second with a score of 9.475.

“I wanted to go out and have a good routine because it’s my senior year so it’s my last Tech dual meet, which is a favorite all the time,” Grausam said. “I just wanted to go out and have fun, I did and it was good.”

Grausam was solid in all four events, finishing third with a 35.950 all-around total. She was fourth on vault (9.175), fourth on beam (8.90) and eighth on bars (8.35).

“I’m finally pulling a meet together, especially hitting bars, throwing new stuff in,” Grausam said. “It was just bringing it all together for a meet. It was good stuff.”

Mikayla Cerney was Brainerd’s other top five finisher with a fourth on bars (8.7).

“We had some great performances tonight,” Maras said. “I thought Maddie’s floor was excellent. Actually, Mikayla had a nice floor. Our bars have come a long way since Day One, and tonight we hit some vaults.

“When you put it all together we’re on par with some of the other teams. I’m really proud of the way the kids hung in there. It’s fun to watch good teams, but it’s even more fun to compete with them, and I thought we did that.”

Tech 145.575, Brainerd 138?.05

Vault: 1-Mariah Miller (SCT) 9.5, 4-Madison Grausam (B) 9.175, 7-tie-Mikayla Cerney (B) and Rachel Hoffman (B) 8.7, 9-Jackie Caughey (B) 8.05, 10-Jenny Muesing (B) 7.65

Uneven parallel bars: 1-Miller 9.350, 4-tie-Cerney 8.7, 6-Rachel Hoffman 8.65, 8-Grausam 8.35, 9-Lonie Anderson (B) 8.3, 10-Anna Bieganek (B) 7.4

Balance beam: 1-Paige Beuning (SCT) 9.250, 4-Grausam 8.950, 6-Rachel Hoffman 8.4, 7-Kaylee Hoffman (B) 8.35, 9-Cerney 8.1, 10-Caughey 7.775

Floor exercise: 1-Miller 9.525, 2-Grausam 9.475, 4-Cerney 9.05, 7-Caughey 8.65, 8-Rachel Hoffman 8.5, 9-Jaelyn King (B) 8.35

All-around: 1-Miller 37.0, 3-Grausam 35.950, 5-Cerney 34.45, 6-Rachel Hoffman 34.3

MIKE BIALKA may be reached at mike.bialka@brainerddispatch.com or at 855-5861.

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Mike Bialka
(218) 855-5861
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