January 13, 2011 at 9:24 a.m.

'Cats capture another NSC win

'Cats capture another NSC win
'Cats capture another NSC win

Cambridge-Isanti 144.825, Chisago Lakes 122.625

When opponents suit up against the Cambridge-Isanti gymnastics team, they know they will need a near-perfect performance to even stay close.

The Bluejackets, who have been ranked in the top five for years and always seem to have top-level gymnasts on their roster, steamrolled a good Chisago Lakes squad in their first match back from holiday break.

Despite solid scores on the vault and the floor exercise, the Wildcats weren't even close when the final scores were tallied.

C-I came away with a 22 point win on the evening. On the bright side, Savanna Stendahl scored a 32.075 all-around and Sam Thomsen scored a 31.100. "They won, we lost," Head Coach Brett Kjos said bluntly. "They are ranked in the top five in the state."

Chisago Lakes 126.375, St. Louis Park 115.700

After the brutal loss to Cambridge-Isanti, the Wildcats rebounded in a big way, crushing conference for St. Louis Park to stay unbeaten in the North Suburban, and tied atop the standing with St. Francis.

"We really had a solid meet overall," Kjos said. "It was our highest score so far of the season, and it left us tied with St. Francis."

The Wildcats opened a near five point lead after the first event, the uneven bars, behind sturdy showings from Nicole Bean, Stendahl, Thomsen and Courtney Schlegel.

The lead stretched to almost eight after the second event when Thomsen, Bean, Reba Berg, Alicia Sokol and Stendahl all scored over eight on the vault.

Barring a disaster, the Wildcats knew it would be a breeze the rest of the way, but that didn't stop them from putting up some impressive performances. Bean, Stendahl and Thomsen all broke eight on the floor exercise.

On the beam, which has been CL's crux this year so far, Bean and Thomsen both eclipsed the eight point mark as the final tally was in favor of the 'Cats by almost 11 points.

Big Lake Tournament

In their annual tournament at Big Lake, the girls from Chisago Lakes again upped their high score of the season en route to winning their division.

"I was surprised. It was our third meet of the week, and we did not look tired at all," Kjos explained after the meet. "The girls performed great."

They needed every bit of points they could get too, as their division contained Big Lake's second varsity squad (Big Lake's team was in the other division, as they are highly ranked in the state) and Minneapolis Southwest.

The girls managed an impressive 33.70 in the vault to open up the meet, as all five girls again eclipsed the eight point mark. Sokol was the top scorer with an 8.55.

After a little bit of struggle on the uneven bars and the balance beam, the Wildcats found themselves down by over three points to Big Lake and up by only one point on Southwest.

However, in the last even, Southwest was on vault, Big Lake was on the uneven bars and Chisago Lakes had on of their strong suits, the floor exercise.

Stendahl led the way with an 8.55, and then Betsy Howerton, Sokol and Bean all took after her lead and scored over eight, including matching 8.200's by Howerton and Sokol. The point total was just enough to beat Big Lake by three-tenths of a point, and hold off Southwest by four-tenths of a point.

"The girls tried a lot of new skills that they've been working on in practice," Kjos said. "Some were awesome and some are almost competition ready. A few more weeks and we'll definitely be ready."


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