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State champ influences current Warrior vaulter

Twenty-one years ago, Brainerd’s Julie Beasley became the first Minnesota State High School League gymnast to execute a layout Tsuk vault at the state meet, earning a 9.90 to win the Class 2A championship.

Beasley’s record has since been broken (9.90 is the new standard) but her impact on Warrior gymnasts lives on. Current Warriors like Madison Grausam admire what Beasley accomplished and strive to duplicate her maneuver.

“Mr. M (Warriors coach Dave Maras) always shows us the video of that vault and it motivates us,” Grausam said.

Grausam grabbed Section 8-2A’s fourth and final state qualifying spot on her final vault last weekend, earning a 9.4. She’s working on throwing a layout Tsuk at state Saturday night in the Sports Pavilion at the University of Minnesota.

“If it’s done right, you could be state champion, if not maybe you still place,” Grausam said of the Tsuk. “I want to place, but I’m hoping to go down there, do well and stick my landing.

“(Beasley) was one of the first girls in Minnesota to ever do (a layout Tsuk). Every girl wants to do the same vault that Julie stuck and won the state championship.”

When Grausam finished her final section vault she wasn’t sure if it was enough to go to state.

“I didn’t actually know if I was in the running,” she said. “Then, when I stuck my landing, Mr. M told me I had placed. I was really excited about that. It’s exciting to go back (to state).”

It will be Grausam’s second state appearance. As a sophomore she qualified in floor exercise and finished 26th. Last season she missed qualifying, with her highest section finish seventh place on vault.

Saturday, she returns to the Pavilion, site of her previous state trip.

“I think it’s going to help a lot,” Grausam said of competing at the same state venue. “I know what it’s like to be there. I haven’t competed on vault before there but I know the atmosphere, and how to calm myself.”

Maras said Grausam has had a “great year.” She earned all-state honors on vault (9.3 average), and received honorable mention on floor and balance beam and in all-around.

“She was in the hunt all the time,” Maras said. “She didn’t have a great conference meet, but none of us did. In every other meet she had one or two solid events.

“As a senior, she worked hard. She knew this was her last hurrah. She left nothing that she could look back and say, ‘I wish I would have done this.’ That’s what we preach to our seniors, that this is your last year, don’t look back and say, ‘I wish I had done that’ because that never happens.”

Grausam practiced what Maras preached in her final season. She won 12 individual events, six on vault. She won floor and beam three times apiece and was all-around champion in two regular-season duals. She finished second in the all-around in two additional meets.

“I thought I had a really good year,” she said. “I was more confident with everything. I knew this was my last year, so I wanted to give it my all. I knew I would not be able to wait until next year, so I did what I could and had fun.”

Other notable efforts:

• Savannah Stone, Alpine skiing, finished sixth at state, the highest-ever placing by a Warrior girl or boy.

• Matt Pohlkamp, picked up two points against Tech to become the program’s all-time leading scorer with 176 points.

• Mitch McLain, boys hockey, tied the program record for goals in a season (35) with a goal against Sartell.

• Jack Sauer, boys basketball, scored 29 points against Apollo and 25 against St. Paul Central.