Gymnastics: Celebrating Willmar Cardinal seniors
Tech handles a young Willmar team on Senior Night, Also New London-Spicer knocked off Benson/KMS
WILLMAR — On a night where their youthful squad was undermanned, two seniors from the Willmar gymnastics team were honored Friday night.
Tayva Carruthers and Abby Coquyt were celebrated after the Cardinals’ meet against Central Lakes Conference opponent St. Cloud Tech/Cathedral/Apollo. Each joining the program as eighth-graders, the two veterans were graced with flowers, gifts, glowing words and hugs from their teammates.
“Our friendship has grown so much,” Carruthers said. “When I started gymnastics, she started gymnastics. ... It’s crazy the memories we have together. I remember going to meets in the cities when we were both 6 years old to now where we’re both 18.”
Coquyt added: “Tayva and I have watched our best friends that we’ve had since we were little grow up and have their senior nights. We’ve watched it, so having it is really cool.”
While the two were able to enjoy senior night, Carruthers was the only one out of the two able to perform. Coquyt suffered a slight tear of her meniscus early in the season and reaggravated the injury during the team’s meet against Bemidji last week. She aims to return for the section meet.
St. Cloud won the meet 141.900-126.925 from Willmar High School.
Coupled with Coquyt’s injury, sophomore Kim Joneson was ruled out after potentially suffering a concussion just prior to the meet.
“It’s really kind of tough to bounce back from that and try to put that in the back of your head,” Cardinals co-head coach Doug Rossum said. “I think they did well tonight. The girls went out and seemed like they had fun. We had some trips and falls, but all in all, I think they did well.”
St. Cloud’s Taylar Schaefer won all four events to take the all-around with a score of 37.150. Her best performance came in the vault, where she put up a mark of 9.750. Schaefer’s teammate, Catelyn Zack, was second in the all-around (34.600).
Lyndi Koosman put together Willmar’s best individual effort. She captured third in the all-around (34.225) and a pair of second-place results in the vault (9.300) and floor exercise (9.300).
Right behind Koosman was Carruthers (33.150).
On the team’s third rotation, the senior struggled on the balance beam. She fell twice before gathering herself to finish the routine. Carruthers posted a 7.475, but recovered in the final event. She ended the night with fourth-place finish on floor (9.050).
“If I do bad, I shake it off right after,” Carruthers said. “I know there’s always the next meet, which will be hard after this year because I’m a senior. The ‘next meet’ thing won’t be a thing anymore after sections or state or however far we make it.”
Willmar’s next meet is against Perham at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Willmar.
ALL-AROUND — (1) Taylar Schaefer, T, 37.150 ... (2) Catelyn Zack, T, 34.600 ... (3) Lyndi Koosman, W, 34.225.
VAULT — (1) Schaefer, T, 9.750 … (2) Koosman, W, 9.300 ... (3) Grace Ciarrochi, T, 9.175
BARS — (1) Schaefer, T, 9.175 … (2) Olivia Beste, T, 8.725 ... (3) Sena Lunning, T, 8.475
BEAM — (1) Schaefer, T, 8.850 ... (2) Zack, T, 8.825 ... (3) Ciarrochi, T, 8.725
FLOOR — (1) Schaefer, T, 9.375 ... (2, tie) Zack, T, and Koosman, W, 9.300
New London-Spicer came home with a team victory by beating Benson/Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg at Benson.
The Wildcats got top-three performances from Ciera Anderson (2nd, all-around; third vault; 1st, bars; 2nd, beam); Lili Sampson (2nd, vault); Taylor Knudsen (3rd, beam); and Ashlyn Olson (2nd, floor).
Benson/KMS was led by Libby McGeary, who won the all-around with a score of 36.900 and took first in the vault (9.375), the balance beam (9.050) and the floor exercise (9.575). McGeary was second in the uneven parallel bars (8.900).
NLS next competes at 6 p.m. Thursday against Dassel-Cokato at New London. Benson/KMS is host to Annandale at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Benson.