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home : sports : sports
January 22, 2022

12/17/2021 11:46:00 AM
North Branch bests CL after Stipe injury

An untimely injury to Chisago Lakes’ Claudia Stipe turned what may have been a fiercely competitive county rivalry meet into a comfortable win for North Branch when the Wildcats and Vikings squared up on Thursday, December 9.

The Vikings won the meet 129.1-121.75.

Dakota Esget, Libby Nielson and Saysha Olson, all from North Branch, put up the top all around scores of the meet, with Esget’s 36.225 far and away the best. She had the top score in all four events.

The big difference in the meet came in the balance beam and floor exercise. The two teams were pretty even through the vault and uneven bars, but North Branch, paced by Esget’s 9.175, made tacked on almost four points to their lead on the beam, and then they made up over two points on the floor. Again, they were buoyed by Esget’s 9.225 and Olson’s 8.60.

Stipe’s injury, which Head Coach Brett Kjos classified as a lower body injury, was hard to overcome, as she is an all state gymnast. Breanna Kotlowski and Kate Friedner both were quickly called up from junior varsity to replace Stipe. “They did a great job filling in at the last moment,” Kjos said.

With her older sister out, Chelsea Stipe was the top all around scorer for Chisago Lakes. She had a 31.225 for the ‘Cats, including a team-high score on the vault and floor. Lily Grabow scored a 28.850 on the all around and senior McKenna Keene had a nice showing on the beam an floor, scoring a personal best 8.225 and 7.90, respectively.

“We are continuing to work on our routine and our conditioning in practice,” Kjos said. “ Chelsea is slowly adding new higher level skills to her routines and Lily and McKenna both had some nice highlights for us against North Branch.”

“We had a nice meet against Chisago Lakes, and it’s great that we’re starting to build up our skills and scores,” North Branch Head Coach Christine Johnson said. “We expect that we’ll keep getting better as a team as the season goes on, and we’re excited to see the development.



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