Gymnastics: Youthful Warriors poised for return to state
Three of the four Brainerd Warriors competing in the Saturday, Feb. 23, Class 2A State Individual Meet left feeling hungry. For the other, the lone senior, it was a perfect way to cap off her gymnastics career at the University of Minnesota in Mi...
Three of the four Brainerd Warriors competing in the Saturday, Feb. 23, Class 2A State Individual Meet left feeling hungry.
For the other, the lone senior, it was a perfect way to cap off her gymnastics career at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Jocelyn Polansky concluded her season by finishing 44th on the floor with a score of 9.125. She was one spot behind sophomore teammate Kenna Smith, who scored a 9.1375. Izzy Olson placed 46th on floor and 43rd on vault and Brenna Deason was the lone eighth-grader competing in the all-around, where she finished 23rd after placing 40th on vault, 45th on bars, 48th on beam and 26th on floor.
"It was fun to have four of our team representing Brainerd at the state meet," Poorker said. "I think it helped to have four of them there. They competed well, but you could tell when the nerves got them a little bit.
"We had two eighth-graders, super young rookies, and then a sophomore and a senior and it was all of their first time there, so it was just fun to have them represent Brainerd."
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- Deason: 26th on floor
- Olson: 43rd on vault
- Polansky: 44th on floor
- Smith: 43rd on floor
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The event started with Brainerd on beam and Deason struggled with a 48th-place 7.7875.
"It's a nerve-wracking in general no matter the rotation and to have it up as our first rotation at state it was difficult," Poorker said. "There's not much you can control about that. Brenna was trying to calm herself to do what she did last week, but you see all the people there, it's just a different environment. She handled it well. Yes, she fell a couple of times, but got her emotions out and came back strong on the other events."
Brainerd moved to floor, which all four of the Warriors competed in. Olson was first up and she posted an 8.9875.
"There are only six competitors at each event so for us to have four of the six made it feel like a team competition," Poorker said. "Izzy started out great and Brenna was after her and they loved her routine. Kenna and Jocelyn, their composure was great. They showed off their routine very well."
Deason scored a 9.2875. She and Olson then went to vault, where Olson scored a 9.0 after missing her first attempt. Deason scored a 9.125.
"Vault is so different at the state meet because you see a lot more higher-skilled vaults," Poorker said. "We witnessed a perfect 10 and it was amazing. Seeing that can be intimidating, but they both did what they needed to do."
Finally, bars, and Deason scored a season-high 8.525.
"Brenna is just a determined kid," Poorker said. "We were working a new skill called 'giants,' and she only had done a handful of them ever in her short career so far. We just decided to try them at the state meet. We had nothing to lose. She had three days to put it together in a routine and then she competed them at the state meet. Made them and got her career high."
Poorker quickly asked her three younger athletes about next year and all three expressed a strong desire to return to state next year.
For Polansky: "We just told her to land all of her passes, have fun and show off that floor routine and finish on a good note," Poorker said. "She kept her emotions in pretty good. You never know with a senior when they walk off the floor and realize that was their last one, but she said she didn't really have too many emotions because she was proud with how she did.
"That was an awesome way to end her career."
Vault: 1-Chaney Neu (Champlin Park) 10.00, 40-Brenna Deason (Brd) 9.125, 43-Izzy Olson (Brd) 9.0 Uneven parallel bars: 1-Neu 9.7125, 45-Deason 8.525
Balance beam: 1-Neu 9.6750, 48-Deason 7.7875 Floor exercise: 1-Neu 9.7125, 26-Deason 9.3875, 43-Kenna Smith (Brd) 9.1375, 44-Jocelyn Polansky (Brd) 9.125, 46-Olson 8.9875
All-around: 1-Neu 39.1, 23-Deason 34.825