Big Lake’s gymnastics team is gearing up for the regular season which starts with a meet at Cambridge Isanti January 21.
Last year, the Big Lake gymnastics team took the state championship on February 21 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St Paul with a team score of 146.825. It was the school’s first team state championship since the gymnastics team last won state in 2000.
The Hornets also had four individuals compete in the individual state meet the next day at Roy Wilkins. Those athletes were, Izzy Breitkreutz, Lola Visci, Britney Krumrei and Megan Swanson.
While COVID-19 is playing a key role in winter activities at schools throughout the state, Big Lake Co-Head Coach Lanny Goldsmith is sure it won’t interfere too much with unifying his team.
“Our kids have adapted well to wearing masks,” he said. “Unlike some other sports, we are allowed to remove our masks at times for the safety of our athletes while performing certain skills or routines.”
“Sure it makes communication more difficult and breathing at times can be harder, but it’s what we have to do in order to have a season.”
Goldsmith says his girls are just excited to be training together again and can’t wait for meets to start.
Goldsmith’s other co-coach is Nikki Dilbert-Collison and their assistants are Kris Kitzman and Kacey Skarhus.
This year’s captains are: Kennadie Ell, Claire John and Grace Kluk.
Kluk, Ell, Lola Visci and Britney Krumrei will be solid varsity competitors after competing on the team’s state championship team last season. Not only did the Hornets win the MSHSL Class A state meet last year but they also won the Class A True Team state meet as well. JV and Varsity each took first place in the Mississippi 8 Conference.
Visci and Krumrei are expected to have a chance to medal this year if the MSHSL has a state tournament. Katie Goracke, Hannah Horvath and Grace McCrone were strong JV competitors on the 2019-20 team and should have opportunities to offer depth to Hornet lineups this year.
“We are excited to see girls step up and take on some new roles after graduating four girls last yea,” said Goldsmith. “Because only 12 girls get to compete between varsity and JV and we have 22 girls, there will be some good competition for spots in our lineups.”
Goldsmith says the coach’s goals are to build a strong, tough-minded team that is ready to compete and improve every day.
“As a team our goals are to repeat as conference, section and state champions, if we are allowed to have postseason meets,” Goldsmith says.
“We have a hard working and talented group of girls who have experienced success and are hungry for more!”
The roster includes: Kaelyn Dietz 8, Ava Eastman 8, Allie Goracke 8, Allie Lu 8, Amber Grunewald 9, Ava Heinen 9, Samantha Merten 9, Tia Neadeau 9, Lola Visci 9, Maddy Farnsworth 10, Katie Goracke 10, Autumn Grunewald 10, Britney Krumrei 10, Grace McCrone 10, Breanna Ziembo 10, Kennadie Ell 11, Grace Gardner 11, Hannah Horvath 11, Claire John 11, Taylor Screifels 11, Grace Kluk 12 and Jolie Nehwah 12 .