15 November 2012

Gymnastics: Looking for many healthy returns

All-Missota Conference performer Kiana Lord (photo by Jim Lindquist)
After a season marred by illness and injury Tiger coach Lynn Bauman is hoping for a healthy 2012-13 campaign.

Last winter despite the challenges the Tigers ranked third in both the Missota Conference and Section 3AA meets. Bauman feels this year's young team (two seniors) should fare just as well.

"We are going to have a good, solid year," Bauman predicted. "We have a lot of talent that runs deep in ever event.

"I believe beam will be our best event and we should also be strong in vault and floor exercise. The bars are going to be tough because some of the rule changes."

The Tigers also face another challenge with the loss of Nadia Lorencz, last year's state runner-up in vaulting and a state qualifier in four events. Lorencz, a two-event state champion in track last year, has decided to concentrate on her spring specialty.

But even with the absence of Lorencz, Bauman will have several returning varsity performers around whom she can build her team.

All-Missota Conference performer Kiana Lord (all-around) and Taylor Schamltz (all-around) are the two returning seniors. Lord was a state meet qualifier as a sophomore.

Kylie Wharton all-conference honorable mention (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Other returning letterwinners include junior Kathryn Beckett (all-around); sophomores Kylie Wharton (all-around) and Maddie Timerson (vault, bars and floor) and freshmen Mackenzie McCuddin (all-around), Racquel Beckett (all-around) and Kendall Novak (vaults, bars and beam).

Wharton won all-Missota Conference honorable mention honors last year as a freshman.

Tahra Eckert (all-around), who missed most of last season with an elbow injury, returns for her junior season and middle schoolers Amanda Davenport (all-around) and Abby Schwatrz (all-around) could also make a run at the varsity lineup.  

Bauman said she hopes her team can give perennial Missota powers Northfield and New Prague a challenge for conference honors and picked Park of Cottage Grove as the team to beat in the section.

The current school team scoring record stands at 141.275 and Bauman says the Tigers have a chance to establish a new one.

"I have the confidence in these girls to beat it (this year)," she said.

Two new coaches, both FHS graduates, join Bauman as varsity assistants this season: former Tiger gymnast Jenna Moore and ex-Tiger football and baseball standout Brad Albano.

Farmington opens its 2012-13 season Saturday, December 1, at the Austin Winter Warm-up Invitational.