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home : sports : sports
February 8, 2023

1/13/2023 2:08:00 PM
Hornet Classic features stiff competition for 'Cats and Vikes

Hornet Classic
The Tropical Twist is no more.

Big Lake’s annual gymnastics meet was rebranded from the beach-themed Tropical Twist to the Hornet Classic, but it still featured the same tough competition as always on Saturday, January 7.

Chisago Lakes finished sixth out of nine teams while North Branch finished eighth. Both teams had pretty good scores, but the meet features Class A and Mississippi 8 Conference powers Big Lake, Monticello and Becker, as well as Sartell-St. Stephen, Rogers, New London Spicer and Sauk Rapids-Rice.

On the vault event, North Branch’s Dakota Esget was the top local finisher with a third place score of 9.5, just .1 off of Lainey Stavish’s first place 9.6.

Ella Rhein was the top CL finisher, coming in eighth place with a score of 9.15. Ella Dick and Chelsea Stipe each had top 15 finishes as well. Dick, from North Branch, finished tied for 10th with a score of 9.0 and Chisago Lakes’ Stipe scored 8.850 for 15th place.

On the uneven, bars the girls didn’t quite grab the top spots, with Rhein’s 8.35 good enough for 13th place, and no others in the top 25.

Rhein got her top finish of the day on the balance beam, scoring an even 9.0 to finish in third place. This was fresh off breaking the school balance beam record with a 9.5 mark on Thursday. Dick finished in 10th place with a time of 8.55 and Emma Wakefield had a personal best 8.4 to come in 13th. Josie Parucci of North Branch tied for 15th place with an 8.35.

Rhein was the top local finisher again on the floor exercise, finishing in 11th place with a score of 9.050. She just edged out Esget, who scored a 9.0 to come in 13th place.

In the all around, Rhein grabbed fifth place with a 35.55, which is impressive in a meet this caliber. “Ella continues to slowly make the transition from club gymnastics to high school gymnastics,” CL Head Coach Brett Kjos said. “She has been adding back some of her higher level skills on each event and it’s great to see her work pay off.”

Esget finished in 12th with a 33.55 as she struggled a bit on the vault and beam, two events she’s normally sharp at. The Lady ‘Cats scored a season best 132.3 for their sixth place finish and NB scored 129.6 for their eight place spot.

Big Lake 142.575, Chisago Lakes 131.425
The Wildcats had a good meet on Thursday, January 5, but when they’re competing against Big Lake, good is relative. The Hornets are one of the top teams in the state, regardless of class. “It was a pretty good week,” Kjos said. “They really stepped up and performed well.  Going against Big Lake is always tough.  They just have so much depth.”



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