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Getting into the routine

By Staff | Nov 29, 2015

The 2015-2016 Blue Earth Area gymnastics team includes, back row, from left to right: Sydney Blagg, Izzy Walker, Hayley Jahnke, Justina Gaydon, Phoebe Loge and Mari Vargas. Middle row from left to right: Arianna Nagel, Grace Leland, Erin Olson, Haley Engeseth and Melissa Hagedorn. Front row, left to right:?Claire Jordan, Katie Allis, Taylor Driehorst and Malorie Huber. Not pictured:?Sam Esteva.

They are back and ready to compete.

And, the Blue Earth Area gymnastics team has the numbers on the team this year to back it up.

Coaches Merissa Lore and Erica Sunde-Nowak are both excited to see how the team competes once the season gets rolling.

“We are excited for the year and excited to have more girls out,”?Lore says.

And that is because, compared to last season when numbers were down, this year there will be a total of 16 girls competing for the maroon and gold.

Those 16 girls will bring experience and talent to the routines this year as many are returning from last year or are starting out with prior experience.

“We have two seniors and one junior,”?Lore explains.

But, on the opposite end, the team also consists of three seventh graders and a total of five new girls.

Even though they are new to the team, they are not new to the sport.

“Many are coming from the gymnastics center and others have moved here with experience,”?Lore says.

And those girls who are new to the BEA?gymnastics team have been hitting the practices hard and trying new things before their first meet.

“We have one week under our belt,”?Lore says. “And it has been great how willing the girls are to try new things.”

Lore also adds the girls have already shown a great deal of teamwork at practices.

“Everyone gets along and interacts so well,”?she says. “It helps the seventh graders transition and feel included.”

The maroon and gold will kick their season off with a meet against Jackson County Central. The Bucs’ first meet will be held at the Winnebago gym on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.

“It will be nice to get that first meet under our belt,”?Lore says. “Until then we are focusing on getting our routines together and figuring out what everyone will compete on.”

BEA will have three meets in December which, aside from JCC, will include St. Peter and New Ulm.

“Having just three meets in December to get started will be a nice way to ease into the season,”?Lore says.

Those meets are Dec. 15 in St. Peter and Dec. 17 against New Ulm at the Winnebago gym.

Once the Buc girls return from Christmas break, they will have a match on Jan. 7 against Martin County Area.

“Once we have our first meet under our belt, I hope to set more goals,”?Lore says.

She adds that with having more girls on the team and having some new to the team, it is important to see where everyone is at during a meet.

“Then I?will start setting more score-oriented goals,”?she says.

But, she finds it more important to have the girls setting goals for themselves.

“I?want to help them meet their goals, but I’m not going to set goals for them,” Lore says.

But, since things are still up in the air with who will compete at which event in the meets, the coach has just been happy to be back in the gym with the girls.

And, so far she has seen a lot of talent that should translate in their routines throughout the season.

“There is a lot of potential with these girls,”?Lore adds. “I think there are a few girls who might have the opportunity to go to State.”

The maroon and gold coach also feels like the competition from other schools should provide some good meets for the Bucs.

“Our section has changed a little and New Prague is no longer a part of our section,” she says. “They have been Section Champions for the last couple of years.”

Their absence should make for a more level playing field for the Buccaneers this year.

Lore says there are a number of good gymnasts the Buc girls will face throughout the season.

“MCA?always has good girls, so does Waseca and Mankato West,” she says. “Mankato West had a run for Section Champs last season. Each team has good girls and will have competition this year.”

So, with an increase in numbers on the team and some promising talent, this season looks to be a good one for the BEA?gymnasts.

“It has been fun to be back in the gym with the girls again,”?Lore says. “I’m ready to see what we can come up with this season.”

And while everyone likes to win, the maroon and gold gymnasts are just ready to have a fun season.

“That’s my number one goal, to have this be a fun and positive experience for all of the girls,”?Lore says.