GYMNASTICS: Lumberjacks dominate in regular season finale
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School gymnastics team left the Gym Bin with a bang on Monday.
The Lumberjacks closed their regular season schedule with a 142.3-122.5 win over Park Rapids, which came in dominant fashion across the board.
“Today was exactly what we wanted to see heading into sections this weekend,” BHS head coach Briana Fleischhacker said. “This energy, this excitement is just what we need.”
Bemidji was without all-arounder Kaleigh Buck and Lauren Lundquist, who usually competes in three varsity events, but Fleischhacker said she was pleased with the way the rest of the team stepped up in their absence.
“Even without them, the girls came together,” Fleischhacker said. “We have such a deep team that they wanted to make up for the girls we were missing. And they really did. They were a team tonight. They cheered, they were loud, they were excited. Everybody did their job.”
In all, the Jacks claimed every top-three spot up for grabs. Tatum Offerdahl led the way, winning three events en route to a first-place all-around total of 36.2. Lauren Berg followed in second in the all-around at 33.95.
Offerdahl was first in the vault (9.2), bars (8.8) and beam (9.3) while placing fourth on the floor (8.9). Though Offerdahl didn’t quite finish the sweep, Mady Schmidt and Kaitlyn Tennyson each had a 9.1 on the floor to tie for first.
Berg tied with Schmidt for second on the bars (8.55) and with Elizabeth Corradi in the vault (9). Corradi also posted another top-two score with a 9.1 on the beam.
Leah Lucas closed the books on top-three finishes for BHS, taking third in both beam (8.9) and floor (9).
“Tonight, it’s honestly hard to pick one (individual) out of the crowd because everybody, for the most part, hit their performance,” Fleischhacker said. “And even if they didn’t, they were little goofs that are easy to fix.”
The meet also doubled as Senior Night, where Corradi and Tennyson were acknowledged for their contributions to the program over the years.
“Our two seniors are just phenomenal girls, in and out of the gym,” Fleischhaker said. “They are great leaders. It doesn’t matter to them what spot they’re in or where they’re at, they just want to get out there and do their best every day. Other girls see that and fall in line.
“I’ve had them since my first year. They were the youngest girls on the team, so it’s kind of cool to have them grow up through the program. It makes me a little sad to see them go, but I’m excited for their future and what they’re going to accomplish in life.”
The Section 8AA meet next awaits Bemidji, which begins at noon on Saturday, Feb. 16, in Brainerd. The Lumberjacks hold the No. 8 spot in the most recent Class AA state rankings, with No. 13 Brainerd and No. 15 St. Cloud Tech the closest section foes.