Flyers' LeBlanc already receiving high marks
Rachelle LeBlanc was selling herself short.
The Little Falls gymnast set a goal to earn an all-around score of 37 points by the end of the season.
Less than a month into the season LeBlanc reached her goal during a dual meet victory against Bemidji.
LeBlanc won the parallel bars with a 9.0. She claimed the balance beam with a 9.325, owned the floor thanks to a 9.5 and won vault with a 9.2. Those four firsts added up to a winning all-around score of 37.025 on Dec. 17.
“It was so awesome,” said the four-year varsity performer. “My goal by the end of the season was to break 37, but it happened a lot quicker than I thought it was. Now my goal is to break our school record of 37.8. That’s a long way to go. Danielle Atkinson has it and she was a (2005) state champion on the bars. She was almost the state champ all-arounder.”
The previous meet, a 17.35-point victory over Park Rapids on Dec. 13, LeBlanc unveiled some new tricks in her routines. The result was a winning all-around score of 36.6. Again, she won all four disciplines with 9.0 or higher scores.
“I think we’re going to continue to see that all-around score going up,” said Flyers co-head coach Kent Gomez. “As the season progresses, we’ll be looking at tape from the meets and seeing the little things. It’s just the little execution errors that take away a 10th of a point or two-10ths of a point away. On tape you can see it and make an effort to correction those errors.”
LeBlanc added a Tsukahara vault, which is a higher scoring vault. She has a new release on bars. She added a back tuck on beam and she’s still working on perfecting her floor routine.
The addition of the tricks, and her execution, has added to LeBlanc’s confidence, which was high coming in after advancing to state last season.
“With Rachelle she’s always been a hard-working young lady,” said Gomez. “She doesn’t get down in the dumps much. Her work ethic and attitude brings her back to where she needs to be if she has a bad start. Our expectations of her are high because her expectations of herself are high.”
Last season, LeBlanc finished 19th on floor at the 1A state meet with a 9.0625 score. She was hoping for a better result.
“Coming out of state last year, it was a little depressing,” said the three-sport athlete. “I wanted so much more. I wanted gymnastics to keep going, but it was pole vaulting season. So going into this season, I want to go to state for the all-around or at least more than one event.”
Gomez is confident that despite being in a competitive section, LeBlanc has the skill set to fulfill another of her goals.
“She is a determined young lady,” he said. “We try to teach our athletes that when they come to practice they need to have a goal for that day. She’s one of those athletes that you don’t need to say that to. She would do that anyway. She’s tasted what state is like and she wants to go back.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Bethany Cressman, Lake Region, finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds against First Baptist.
Mattie Lueck, Pequot Lakes, scored 20 points against Park Rapids and 29 against Bemidji.
Emily Miron, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds against Detroit Lakes and 46 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocked shots against Menahga.
Whiney Weisz, Little Falls, scored 26 points against Fergus Falls.
Jaelin Beachy, Staples-Motley, scored 23 points against Fergus Falls.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5856.