Gymnastics is not an easy sport by any means.
It takes years of work, consistency, fabulous flexibility, mental toughness, tremendous strength and total focus to succeed. Even with all those attributes, success is far from guaranteed.
Many gymnasts have those traits, but few reach the top. They do it for the love of their sport.
I applaud all gymnasts, especially those from South Dakota high schools as they wrapped up their season this past weekend with their state meet in Brookings. Oh sure, many will be right back in the gym competing with their club teams this week.
Rest is not often found in a gymnast's playbook.
The Aberdeen team reached a neat accomplishment this weekend by finishing sixth in the team competition Friday. It was thought to be the best finish ever in the history of Aberdeen gymnastics.
I did some quick searching this weekend, and sixth place also was the best I ever found for a Golden Eagles team, but I found that it has happened at least one other time.
In 1977, Dawn Huebner led Aberdeen to sixth in the state meet. The only individual champion in the history of the Aberdeen program, Huebner won the all-around and uneven bar title that season. The gymnastics coaches voted her gymnast of the year.
The 1977 state meet was won by the Sioux Falls Washington girls with 90.83 points. It was the Warriors fifth state title in a row. Rapid City Stevens was next with 90.555 points followed by Mitchell (82.37), Sioux Falls Lincoln (81.325), Brookings (80.66) and coach Darlene Vlassak's Golden Eagles with 76.44 points.
Regardless, this past weekend's plaque-winning performance was a great accomplishment for the Aberdeen gymnasts, coach Jen Deutsch and her staff and Golden Eagle fans.
How about that amazing Oakes wrestling team? Coach Cory Schall and his Tornadoes won their fourth straight North Dakota State B crown (Oakes also won the 2009 and 2010 dual state titles). Oakes received individual championships from Erik Loepp at 113 pounds and Cody Voegeli at 145. Other area state champs included Blake Bosch of South Border at 126 and Jamison Jangula of Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm at 195.
Wrestle on II
Congrats to the Aberdeen Central wrestling team, which will host the State A Friday (10 a.m., 3:45 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m., 3:45 p.m.) at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen. The Golden Eagles placed third in the Region 3A tourney, qualified 13 wrestlers for state and were led by a first-place finish from Jordan Johnston at 120 pounds.
Wrestle on III
Defending State B champion Webster won the Region 1B wrestling team title with six individual champs. Also headed to the State B in Rapid City this weekend will be the Region 1B champion, Tyson Mitzel of Aberdeen Roncalli. Mitzel improved to 41-1, breaking the RHS single season record of 40 victories set by Chase Tempel in 2008.
About 5,000 fans showed up at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen on Saturday to honor retiring Northern State athletic director Bob Olson and watch the Wolves sweep a doubleheader from Concordia-St. Paul. It was a nice ceremony for Olson after the game with KSFY-TV sports director Erik Thorstenson doing a good job as host.
NSU has been doing some pairings with area high schools recently, which is a great idea. At halftime of the men's game Saturday, the NSU cheerleaders teamed with the Ipswich cheerleaders and a trio of NSU baseball players to put on a crowd-pleasing routine.