Gymnastics: Third-ranked Tigers outscore Warriors
Tech 145.075, Warriors 140.650 The key: The Tigers' won all four events and the all-around Conference: Brd 3-4, SC 7-1 Overall: Brd 5-4, SC 7-1 Next: Brainerd in Central Lakes Conference championship at Fergus Falls 1 p.m. Saturday. Based on Mond...
Tech 145.075, Warriors 140.650
The key: The Tigers' won all four events and the all-around
Conference: Brd 3-4, SC 7-1
Overall: Brd 5-4, SC 7-1
Next: Brainerd in Central Lakes Conference championship at Fergus Falls 1 p.m. Saturday.
Based on Monday night's performance against the Brainerd Warriors the St. Cloud Tech Tigers appear on their way to capturing their 11th straight Central Lakes Conference championship and their 10th consecutive Section 8-2A title this month.
The Tigers have skill and balance in all four events. Tech senior Margaux Schmid and sophomore teammate Lara Aycock each won two events. Schmid captured the all-around competition with a 37.225 score with Aycock second at 36.300. They led Class 2A's third-ranked Tigers to a 145.075-140.650 CLC victory at Brainerd High School.
Tigers coach Joel Stark-Haws said this year's team has balance as opposed to one individual standout.
"In the past, we've had a couple 38 all-arounders that end up peaking toward the end of the season which is awfully helpful," he said, "but we're a very deep team this year. With a (junior varsity) scoring 135 (Monday night) and 136 at the last meet we're a very deep team.
"We don't have any super shining stars but we're just trying to make it happen by finding that 9.375 average because that will get us there."
Schmid won vault with a 9.475. She and teammate Sarah Lommel tied for first on beam with 8.9s. Aycock paced the bars with a 9.450 and floor with a 9.575. They finished 1-2 in the all-around with Schmid accumulating a 37.225 score and Aycock 36.300.
"We've got a strong crew," Stark-Haws said. "We're waiting to hit a meet yet. Different kids are taking turns. We're a little beat-up but we're excited for the postseason. We've got a strong group of senior leaders that are very excited to carry us through the end of the season.
"It's nice to get back in the gym and clean some stuff up for the conference and section championships and see how we can help these guys peak."
The Warriors and sophomore Millie Klefsaas peaked Monday night.
Brainerd amassed a season-high point total as it prepares to compete in the CLC meet Saturday at Fergus Falls and in the Section 8-2A meet Feb. 14 at St. Michael-Albertville.
Ranked 23rd in 2A, Brainerd beat its previous season high by almost five points. The Warriors' previous highwater mark this season was 135.925 Jan. 29 against Fergus Falls.
"This has been a jigsaw puzzle because every week, every meet, even tonight we were shuffling people trying to find who's going to compete," Warriors coach Dave Maras said. "We've had injuries, we've had sickness like everyone else. It seems like when we think we've got a full roster, something happens during a meet - and bam.
"But tonight the kids we had out there competed really hard. Tech is a very good team. We need to go out and show we're a good team too. Maybe we're not quite as strong but you know what? We're close."
Klefsaas competed in the all-around for the first time since suffering a concussion Jan. 10 and compiled a season-high 35.475 to finish third. She was fourth on vault and bars, eighth on beam and third on floor.
"The interesting part is she was forced into the all-around because we were missing two of our other kids that filled in for her," Maras said. "One had a bad ankle, the other had a sore thumb, so we told Millie 'You've got to go. I don't care. Water it down. Do it for the team, don't do it for yourself.'
"Even at that, when she did water it down, that was her best all-around score of the year."
St. Cloud Tech 145.075, Brainerd 140.650
Vault: 1-Margaux Schmid (SCT) 9.475, 4-Millie Klefsaas (B) 9.200, 5-(tie) Jaelyn Kappes (B) and Abby Doran (B) 9.200, 7-Kianna Christensen (B) 9.150, 9-Jaelyn King (B) 9.00
Uneven parallel bars: 1-Lara Aycock (SCT) 9.450, 4-Klefsaas 9.00, 6-Kappes 8.675, 7-Christensen 8.300, 8-Hannah Dahlberg (B) 7.950, 9-Cami Harmer (B) 7.750
Balance beam: 1-(tie) Schmid & Sarah Lommel (SCT) 8.900, 3-Kayla Deason (B) 8.700, 5-Megan Ostendorf (B) 8.650, 6-Meg Foster (B) 8.400, 8-Klefsaas 8.075, 10-Alexis Cheek (B) 7.150
Floor exercise: 1-Aycock 9.575, 3-Klefsaas 9.200, 4-Doran 9.150, 5-King 9.00, 6-Dahlberg 8.900, 10-Christensen 8.100
All-around: 1-Schmid 37.225, 2-Aycock 36.300, 3-Klefsaas 35.475
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark .