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Warrior Gymnastics: Brainerd continues building process

Jackie Caughey knows what needs to be done.

Caughey is the captain and emotional leader of a young Brainerd Warriors team. Just how young?

Three eighth-graders and one seventh-grader competed for the Warriors during Thursday’s 137.85-133.0 loss to the Sauk Rapids Storm at Brainerd High School.

For Caughey, it’s not so much about Thursday’s outcome, but about the process.

“This is only the second meet, but we know we can bring more than this,” Caughey said. “Everyone is working hard. We just have to focus and bring our best to the table at the meets. We have to do it in practice every day so that it comes out in the meets and we just have to stay positive because have a lot of potential on this team.”

Brainerd couldn’t match the exploits of the Storm’s Sydney Schlindler and Alyssa Wagner. Those two finished first and second, respectively, in the all-around and were either first or second in all events except bars. That’s where eighth-grader Rachel Hoffman secured a second-place score of 8.65. Mikayla Cerney finished third with 8.35.

“What we have in our bar routines we did very well, but it’s not enough,” said Warriors head coach Dave Maras. “What we need to do is still out there. What we did is very good, but we need more difficulty and it’s just not there, yet, but it will be.”

The Warriors scored their highest marks on vault. Hoffman was third with an 8.9. Cerney placed fifth with an 8.7 and Emmiline Klefsaas tied for sixth.

“We just need to look at the things we did wrong and figure out what we need to fix and look at things we need to add,” Maras said. “We’ll starting picking it up a notch to put in more difficulty. It’s a long season and we’ll start working toward the end.

“Tonight, we just had way too many falls on floor and beam.”

Cerney was Brainerd’s top all-arounder with a 34.35. That placed her third with Hoffman fourth at 34.05.

Klefsaas, another eighth-grader, placed fifth in the all-around.

“The new group of girls that has come in this year have been the hardest-working newcomers that I have ever seen,” said Caughey. “They come in. They get their stuff done. They work hard and they compete to win. I’m really proud of our newcomers this year.”

Along with being a leader, Caughey is the anchor of the Warriors’ floor performers. She placed fifth with an 8.6.

“Floor is my favorite event,” said Caughey. “I just love to go out there and perform. It was so great to have my team cheer for me. This is the most supportive team I have ever been on.”

Sauk Rapids 137.85, Warriors 133.0

Vault: 1-Sydney Schindler (SR) 9.1, 3-Rachel Hoffman (Brd) 8.9, 5-Mikayla Cerney (Brd) 8.7, 6t-Emmiline Klefsaas (Brd) 8.7, 8-Sydney Wold (Brd) 8.65, 10-Jackie Caughey (Brd) 8.1

Uneven parallel bars: 1-Schindler 9.1, 2-Hoffman 8.65, 3-Cerney 8.35, 8-Klefsaas 7.75, 9-Anna Bieganek (Brd) 7.55, 10-Morgan Visser (Brd) 7.45

Balance beam: 1-Alyssa Wagner (SR) 9.25, 3-Cerney 8.55, 4-Hoffman 8.2, 7-Caughey 7.7, 8-Wold 7.4, 9-Klefsaas 7.35

Floor exercise: 1-Wagner 9.1, 3-Cerney 8.75, 5-Caughey 8.6, 6t-Hoffman 8.3, 6t-Jaelyn King (Brd) 8.3, 9-Klefsaas 7.95

All-around: 1-Schindler 36.15, 3-Cerney 34.35, 4-Hoffman 34.05, 5-Klefsaas 31.7

JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Jeremy Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
(218) 855-5856