Gymnastics: Warriors land a 3rd-place score at home Invite

Brainerd's Kenna Smith takes third place in beam with a score of 9.25 Saturday, Dec. 14, during the Dave Maras Holiday Invitational at Brainerd High School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Kenna Smith scored three nines in three events to help the Brainerd Warriors finish third in the eight-team Dave Maras Holiday Invitational Saturday, Dec. 14 at Brainerd High School.

Brainerd scored a141.05. Lakeville North won the event with 142.7 and Big Lake finished second with 141.55.

Three Warriors finished in the top 10 on the vault and Izzy Olson placed sixth in the all-around. Detroit Lakes’ Jackson Hegg won the all-around with a 37.05.
“The energy is great in our home gym and it’s so fun to see them be electric and own their routines,” Brainerd head coach Tessa Poorker said. “We always come into this meet to have fun and whatever happens, happens. We had three meets this week so it was a little rough on our body, but our performance was great. I am very pleased with where we are at.”

Brainerd started on vault where Izzy Olson scored a 9.3 for sixth place. Smith came in seventh with a 9.25 and Brenna Deason landed in ninth with a 9.2. Ellie Selisker scored a 9.1 for 12th place.

With a team score of 36.85 on vault, Brainerd led after the first rotation. Brainerd slid to third after bars. Olson finished sixth with an 8.9. Smith did not compete on bars preventing her from an all-around score.
“We have a bigger team this year, our biggest in five years, so we have a lot of depth to pull from,” Poorker said. “We are trying to figure out the best routines on each event and sometimes that doesn´t come from an all-around performer.”


Smith recorded her second 9.25 on beam, which was good for third place.

Brainerd came back with a score of 36.40 on floor -- the best team score in that event. Deason finished fifth with a 9.3. Smith was seventh with a 9.2 and Olson grabbed the eighth spot with a 9.1.

“A lot of girls are bringing out their personalities and unique things and are just doing their own routines instead of looking at another team and doing ‘stock’ routines,” Poorker said. “We really pride ourselves on being unique and I think the judges appreciate it.”

It was the end of a three-meet week for Brainerd, which Poorker believes led to lower scores.

“These are state judges that we have today so they are going to be pickier,” Poorker said. “They have a lot of girls that they are watching so there are no gimmie scores. It is good when we see a little bit lower scores, but they are consistent and we know that it was a long week for us and we take that as a learning experience.”

For more photos, go to .

Team score: 1-Lakeville North 142.70, 2-Big Lake 141.550, 3-Brainerd 141.050, 4-Melrose 140.40, 5-Owatonna 137.25, 6-Detroit Lakes 137.10, 7-Lakeville South 133.30, 8-Moorhead 121.25

Vault: 1-Anna Alternatt (LN) 9.65, 6-Izzy Olson (B) 9.3, 7-Kenna Smith (B) 9.25, 9-Brenna Deason (B) 9.2, 12-Ellie Selisker (B) 9.1, 16-Brooke Jones (B) 8.65
Uneven parallel bars: 1-Jackson Hegg (DL) 9.75, 6-Olson 8.9, 16-Elle Bruggeman (B) 8.25, 19-Josie Harguth (B) 7.95, 20-Brooke Jones (B) 7.9, 24-Deason 7.65
Balance beam: 1-Camryn Brinkman (M) 9.65, 3-Smith 9.25, 16-Selisker 8.75, 21-Olson 8.5, 25-Kamryn Peterson (B) 8.3, 27-Harguth 8.1
Floor exercise: 1-Ashley Goodlund (LN) 9.55, 5-Deason 9.3, 7-Smith 9.2, 8-Olson 9.1, 13-Selisker 8.8, 18-Meghan Wirtz (B) 8.65
All-around: 1-Hegg (DL) 37.05, 6-Olson 35.8
Next: Brainerd at Willmar 6 pm. Friday, Dec. 20.

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