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Frazee gymnasts make strides, vault to a second place finish in Fergus Falls

After a season of working "significant" time on the vault, the work is paying off for the Frazee gymnastics team.

The Hornets placed four out of five gymnasts on the vault in Fergus Falls Jan. 6, with senior Alane Sauer taking first with a score of 8.2, which included a handspring full.

The vault aided Frazee's team score of 107.55, which was an increase of seven points from their last meet.

The Hornets finished second to Fergus Falls, which scored a 114.5.

"We've spent a significant amount of time on vault this season, learning twisting, running hard at the vault and staying tighter," said Frazee head coach Amie Erickson.

Sophomore Emma Buhr was second with an 8.15, while sophomore Jessica Irish followed in third with an 8.05.

Sophomore Tiffany Haugen rounded out Frazee's vault with a 7.8, which was good for fifth place.

But vault isn't the only event in which the Hornets are improving.

"Bars are showing improvement, as well," Erickson said. "Especially by Jessica (Irish), who placed fourth with a personal best score of 6.55."

Joining Irish with a well-controlled routine was Quincy Mickelson, who had a 6.25.

The beam was a sore spot for Frazee, Erickson said.

"Falls on the beam cost the team a significant amount of points," she added. "Alane had a really nice routine with only one fall and scored an 8.05, which was a personal best and a second place finish.

"She had excellent amplitude on her pike jumps, earning her a back-to-back superior."

Buhr was fifth with a 6.9.

"By changing her dismount from a cartwheel back salto to a cartwheel back gainer salto, she added bonus points," Erickson said.

Four personal best scores were set on floor, including Buhr with a 6.4, Sauer with a 7.9, Haugen with a 6.8 and Mickelson finishing with a 6.9.

"All but Alane need to incorporate a half-twist salto into their routines, but most aren't quite to that difficulty," Erickson commented about the team's floor routines.

Frazee takes fifth in Park Rapids

The Hornets scored a 115.1 to finish fifth in Park Rapids Jan. 10.

"Frazee gymnasts performed much better overall," Erickson said. "Several falls on beam hurt our scores, but we were able to complete all tumbling passes on floor."

Sauer was 12th in all-around with a 29.3, while setting a pair of personal best scores on vault with an 8.5 and bars at 7.0.

She also tied her personal best on floor with a mark of 8.2.

Buhr followed suit, setting personal bests in all of her events and finishing with an all-around mark of 28.8 to place 14th.

"Last year, Emma struggled with keeping her shoulders and upper body tightness, but this year she really trained hard," Erickson stated. "The past couple of days, Emma strove to stay tight on bars and was able to score a 6.2."

Irish set three personal best scores to finish 18th in all-around with a 27.25.

Her finishes on bars (6.65), beam (5-4) and floor (7.2) set her best marks in her career.

"She does have a strained quadriceps muscle, but she was so excited to be able to compete all-around, she pushed through the pain," Erickson said of Irish.

Seventh grader Kirsten Tollefson competed with varsity on floor and beam.

"She stuck her first somersault and scored a 3.7 (on beam)," the Frazee coach said of Tollefson. "We spent a significant amount of time on her floor routine on Wednesday through Friday and her score went up to a 5.0 from a 3.3."

Haugen's all-around score of 27 was an increase of almost six points on her personal best.

The Hornet gymnastics team will be in Alexandria Friday and travel to Moorhead Saturday for an invitational.