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Gymnastics: Numbers up, new faces

By Staff | Nov 25, 2012

This year’s gymnastics team includes, back row, left to right; Marianne Nilsen, Gracie Leland, Erin Olson, Christina Anderson, Brianna Ziegler, Cassie Thompson and Melissa Hagedorn. Front row, left to right; Kim Matejka, Haley Resutek, Kayla Schaper, Kristine Brown, Mallory Huber and Justina Gaydon.

The numbers are up, the coach is back and the Blue Earth Area Buccaneer gymnastics team is ready for a new season.

Coach Melissa Storbeck thinks the team of 13 girls will be a needed improvement from last season.

“It’s only four more girls from last year, but that’s going to make a big difference,”?she says.

And four seems to be the magic number this year with four gymnasts that will be able to compete in all around for the varsity.

Three seniors Christina Anderson, Kayla Schaper and Cassie Thompson and a junior Haley Resutek are looking to be the top four competitors this year.

“We have a lot of girls who look like they will be able to compete in all events,”?Coach Storbeck says. “These four will be our solid all-around competitors this year, though.”

However, with a lot of new faces and only two weeks of practice out of the way, the coach still isn’t sure how the season will pan out.

Seven of the 12 girls are new to the team this year, including two foreign exchange students; Kim Matejka and Marianne Nilsen. They also welcome aboard three seventh-graders; Justina Gaydon, Melissa Hagedorn and Malorie Huber.

“Most of them have been exposed to gymnastics before,”?she adds.

Already, the team is looking to be strong on the beam and vault.

“They are impressive on the vault,” the coach says.

The team will have some challenges to face which leaves them with room to improve throughout the season.

“The bars are always tough to get back in the swing of,”?Coach Storbeck says.

But despite over half the team being new this year, Storbeck has already seen a lot of improvements being made.

“It will be fun to have a full junior varsity?team this year,”?she adds. “We will have a lot more depth.”

Last year, there were only nine girls on the team which didn’t leave very much room to move.

“Now we will have girls who can fill in on varsity if anyone gets hurt or can’t make a meet,”?Storbeck says.

The first meet will be in Worthington on Tuesday, Dec. 4, which will be a close match up, to say the least.

“We beat them by four-tenths of a point last year,”?Coach Storbeck remembers.

She says the girls get very competitive with Worthington and are excited to take them on in the first meet of the year.

Then, the Bucs next gymnastics meet will be when they host their home invitational on Saturday, Dec. 8 followed by a meet on Dec. 18.

After that the girls won’t have another meet until January when their schedule gets a lot busier.

The coach is ready to see what the girls will do this season, since it is just her second year coaching the BEA?gymnastics team.

They will be judged on a 10-point scale like they were in previous years on four events; beam, bar, vault and floor routines.

The Bucs can compete five girls for varsity and eight for junior varsity.

The Bucs can compete five girls for varsity and eight for junior varsity.

“We had a hard time filling those spots last year,”?she says. “This year we won’t have a problem competing that many girls.”

Even losing two seniors to graduation last season, Chante Anderson and Marissia Hagedorn, Storbeck feels the four top girls will be more than able to lead the rest in meets.

“I’ve already seen a lot of improvements in these girls,”?she says. “Even just within the first week of practice.”

The team has been working well together and the coach thinks the improvements will only continue as the season progresses.

“They have all set individual goals, and we’re going to set some team goals as well,” she says.

So, even though the Bucs gymnastics coach can’t quite tell how the team will end up in the conference competition, she knows she has girls who will be competitive.

“This is a great group of girls,”?she adds. “We’re having a lot of fun already.”