Battling with the best– C-I Gymnasts 6th at Lakeville Invite

Tori Nelson scored a 9.0 on the Vault against Princeton and worked for a 9.15 on the Beam at the Lakeville North Invite.  Photos by Greg Hunt

Tori Nelson scored a 9.0 on the Vault against Princeton and worked for a 9.15 on the Beam at the Lakeville North Invite. Photos by Greg Hunt

The annual Lakeville North Invitational is a drawing card for several of the top gymnastics teams in the state, and the Cambridge-Isanti program fit in well with the competition. The Bluejackets scored a season-high 142.65 points to place 6th, and the Jacket JV totaled 130.9 points to win their half of the event.

Placing ahead of the varsity among the 16 teams were Class AA 2nd-ranked Roseville (147.5), Class A 2nd-ranked Melrose (147.35), ‘A’ No. 1 ranked Austin (146.65), ‘AA’ No. 1 ranked Northfield (145.95) and ‘AA’ 3rd-ranked Wayzata (145.8). The Jackets finished ahead of Brainerd, Lakeville North, Eden Prairie and Park of Cottage Grove– all ranked in the top 15 of Class AA.

Morgan Urness scored 36.1 All-Around points to pace the Jackets in that crowd. She led C-I with a 9.35 on the Beam and an 8.7 on the Bars while also scoring a 9.05 on Vault and a 9.0 on Floor.

The Beam was the team’s hottest event at the invite, with Kasey Bruss (9.3- personal-best), Hannah Haight (9.1) and MollyAnn Harvey (9.1- PB) surpassing the 9.0 mark. Tori Nelson (9.15), Courtney Durant (9.0) and Kayla Rakowiecki (8.5) added solid scores on Vault.

Harvey (8.85), Haight (8.65) and Kaeli Kortan (8.35) provided the Jackets’ next high scores on Bars. Nelson led with a 9.25 on Floor, followed by Urness, Bruss (8.9) and Larriane Kendall-Acre (8.4).

Courtney Durant joined the Bluejacket gymnasts’ “9.0” club on the Vault when she hit that mark at the Lakeville North Invite.

Courtney Durant joined the Bluejacket gymnasts’ “9.0” club on the Vault when she hit that mark at the Lakeville North Invite.

“The team is doing a great job of being consistent. We are getting more consistent with our skills and routines during practice, which is translating into consistent and confident routines in meets,” analyzed C-I Coach Wendy Rooney.  “Our JV is doing a great job of setting the bar high for our varsity gymnasts. We are still playing around with the lineup on most events because we are fortunate enough to have the depth to try out different people in varsity roles. Now we need to see which athletes step up and show that they deserve a permanent spot in the varsity lineup.”

Kayla Hammes took 1st on the JV Bars (8.25) and Beam (8.6) at Lakeville, and Kortan won the JV Floor (9.05).

• The C-I girls earned their third win of the Mississippi 8 season by defeating Princeton 140.05-113.65 in a Jan. 9 home dual. Urness delivered top marks on the Vault (9.175) and Beam (9.075), with Bruss scoring a team-high 9.0 on Floor and an 8.975 on Beam. Nelson stuck her tsuk for a 9.0 on Vault, and she finished with an 8.925 on Floor. Haight (8.975) and Kortan (8.8) led the Bluejackets on the Bars against the Tigers.

The gymnasts’ ensuing weeks are filled with more conference contests, along with their annual Bluejacket All-Around gathering on Saturday, Jan. 25. Looming a month out is the opportunity to defend their team title in the Section 7AA Finals.

Kasey Bruss locked in for a personal-best 9.3 on the Beam at the Lakeville North Invite.

Kasey Bruss locked in for a personal-best 9.3 on the Beam at the Lakeville North Invite.

“We are very strong on bars and beam, so we need to make sure we are very consistent on hitting those routines.  We are still improving the difficulty level of our vaults and tumbling passes, so we need to nail down those new skills soon so that we have time to perfect them before sections,” said Coach Rooney.

Jacket Gymnasts defeat Big Lake

Cambridge-Isanti racked up season-best team scores on three events while defeating Mississippi 8 defending champ Big Lake 145.175-141.55 on the road Jan. 14. Netting the highest event scores on the night for the Bluejackets were Kaeli Kortan (9.3) and Morgan Urness (9.225) on the Vault.

Mississippi 8 Gymnastics: North Branch 4-0; Cambridge-Isanti 4-1; Big Lake 3-1; Buffalo 3-1; St. Francis 1-2; Chisago Lakes 1-2; Monticello 1-2; St. Michael-Alb. 0-3; Princeton 0-5.
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