Monday, April 22nd, 2024 Church Directory
Section Champs. The Becker Bulldog gymnastics team captured another Section Title last week and will appear in the program’s ninth state tournament under Coach Jen Harmoning. Pictured, front L to R: Emma Hennessey, Hailey Duncombe, Lauren Woelfel, Hailey Deters, Coach Sheena Meillier. Back row: Coach Brent Wuollet, Maggie Graning, Chloe Spear, Bella Kuschel, Lillian Bonsante, Karli Kirk, Alison Woodard and Coach Jen Harmoning. (Submitted Photo).
Senior Leadership. The Becker Bulldog gymnastics team has enjoyed great senior leadership, including: (L to R): Hailey Duncombe, Lauren Woelfel, Emma Hennessey and Hailey Deters. (Submitted Photo).
Emma Hennessey performed a flawless backflip on the beam for the Becker Bulldogs at the Section Championships. (Submitted Photo).

Bulldog Gymnasts State Bound

The Becker Bulldog gymnastics team blew away the competition at last week’s Section 7A Championships to earn the Section Title and a berth in the MSHSL Class A State Gymnastics Meet.

“We coaches are so proud of the way the team stepped up in a pressure-cooker situation and delivered their best to score a season-high team total of 144.65,” Coach Jen Harmoning said after the meet.  “We are so honored to represent Section 7A on Friday at the State Tournament Team Competition.”

The state appearance will be the program’s ninth under Harmoning, a Hall of Fame caliber coach who had the Bulldogs firing on all cylinders en route to the convincing victory.

The Bulldogs were nearly two full points better than second place Monticello, as the Magic scored a 142.775.

In addition to qualifying as a team, the Bulldogs will also send a total of four individuals to the MSHSL State Individual Tournament, with at least one Becker athlete participating in each event.

The team participated in the championships on Friday (Feb. 23), while the individual championships are being held Saturday (Feb. 24).

In the vault event, Becker put together a complete performance and set a season high total of 37.6, which is just four-tenths away from the school record that was set in 2010.

Karli Kirk led the way with a personal record score of 9.525, good enough for the section championship and an individual berth in the state tournament.

Emma Hennessey also had a great day, scoring a third place with her 9.475 effort, while Maggie Graning was close behind in fourth place (9.45).  Both girls will also compete at the state individual meet, giving the Bulldogs three competitors at state on the vault.

On bars, Kirk finished fifth (8.9) and Graning was seventh (personal record 8.775) to pace the Bulldogs and each earn spots in the state individual meet.

Eighth place went to Hennessey with a season-high score of 8.75, while ninth place went to Lauren Woelfel, who scored 8.725.

As a team, the Bulldogs posted a season-high total of 35.15 in the event.

The beam event produced yet another season-high score, as the Bulldogs scored a 36.25 behind Lauren Woelfel’s third place score of 9.3, also a season-best.

Graning posted a personal record 9.125 in the event, with both girls also advancing to the state individual meet.

Finally, the Bulldogs won the floor event and secured yet another individual state tournament berth as Graning finished in second place with a 9.35.

“Although the team did not set a season-high total on this event, we did manage to have the highest team total score on floor of the meet,” Harmoning said.

In the all-around competition, Becker’s Graning found herself in an absolute battle to score in the top three places to earn a berth at the state individual tournament.

The eighth grader came through, notching a personal record 36.7 to secure her spot.

“Before the meet began, the judges told us that the best judges in the state were sent to judge the Section 7A meet because the quality of the teams in this section are second to none,” Harmoning noted.  “Going into the section tournament, Section 7A held three of the top 10 teams and five of the top 15 ranked teams in the state.  There are so many great teams and amazing all-around gymnasts.  It was a huge battle for the top spots and the three coveted all-around spots for our section at the state meet.”

Kirk just missed a state all-around performance with a fourth place finish of 36.175, while Woelfel was sixth (35.875).

As for the state team and individual tournaments, Harmoning said her team is prepared to compete with the best gymnasts in Class A in Minnesota.

“We plan to go there, have some fun, and put it all out on the floor,” Harmoning said.  “Hopefully, we can come home with some hardware to add to our collection!”