February 9, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.
Chisago Lakes 128.625, Irondale/Spring Lake Park 120.425
Chisago Lakes stayed in third place in the conference with a win over Irondale to close out the month of January.
Beginning on the uneven bars, Chisago Lakes found themselves in a little hole early on. Sam Thomsen scored an 8.350 and Nicole Bean scored an 8.200, but an impressive run by the Knights on the vault left CL down by a half point after the first event.
On the changeover, Chisago Lakes quickly made that deficit up and created a nice cushion for themselves in one fell swoop. Thomsen (8.650, a personal best), Alicia Sokol (8.500), Reba Berg (8.200) and Madeline Carlson (8.100) all broke the eight barrier and chalked up 33.450 points for the Wildcats.
Meanwhile, on the uneven bars, Lauren Guise scored an 8.200 for the Knights, but no other girl was over 6.8 and one of their scores was even in the fives as they only stockpiled 26.800 points.
The event swung the momentum in favor of the Wildcats, as they held a six point lead after the even.
Chisago Lakes only added to that lead on the floor exercise. Sokol had a personal best 8.475 in the even, Thomsen scored an 8.250 and Carlson notched an 8.050. Courtney Schlegel scored a 7.950 for Chisago Lakes as they compiled 32.725 points while Irondale only scored 29.400 on the balance beam.
With a 10 point lead and not much pressure, the Wildcats cruised on the balance beam event, racking up 30.825 points and wrapping up the meet by over eight points.
Thomsen was second in the all-around, scoring 33.100 points and Sokol and Schlegel were right behind with a 31.575 and 30.850, respectively.
Chisago Lakes 127.775, St. Anthony 124.550
The Wildcats had a bit more of a challenge besting St. Anthony later in the week.
Starting out on vault, Chisago Lakes jumped out to an early four point lead behind Thomsen’s second personal best of the week, an 8.700 and Sokol, Carlson and Schlegel all scoring over eight. They earned 33.275 points while the Huskies only got 29.575 on the uneven bars.
Some of the lead was washed away when the Wildcats took their turn on the bars. Bean and Schlegel led the way with an 8.250 and 7.950, respectively, but thir 30.950 team score was short of St. Anthony’s 32.850 on vault.
The third event is when things really started getting dicey. Despite a 9.000 from Thomsen on the balance beam, some of the other girls had trouble on the beam and it led to a 30.700 for the Wildcats.
In the Huskies’ third event, they scored 32.100 on the floor exercise and trimmed the lead down to a half a point at 94.925-94.525.
However, CL finished the meet strong with their usual floor exercises and Sokol scored an 8.775, Thomsen had an 8.375 and Carlson scored an 8.100. Schlegel rounded out the varsity scoring with a 7.600, and it was enough to hold off the hard-charging Huskies, as they finished with just 30.025 on the balance beam.
Thomsen was again second in the all-around, scoring a 33.325. Schlegel finished third with a 30.550.
“Nicole Bean has limited participation in the meets due to an injury sustained in practice,” Head Coach Brett Kjos explained after the meets. “She probably could have competed in a lot of pain but we decided to hold her out in order for her to be ready for sections.”
With the victories, Chisago Lakes locked up third place in the conference, their lowest finish in four years. They haven’t won the title in that span, but they were always second to St. Francis. This year, county rival North Branch sneaked in front of them and finished in second place.
But, with the move to Class A, the season is as much about sections now as it is the conference schedule. “It’s nice to have records so late in the season. We are just starting to peak,” Kjos said. “We need to work hard in practice this week. We have not hit all our routines during a meet this season. Some have been right on the money, while some have faltered. It would be awesome for the girls to put it all together at the section meet.”