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Gymnasts soar at own invite

Raider senior Jenny Strom strikes a pose on the balance beam at the Hudson Raider Gymnastics Invitational Saturday. Strom placed fifth in the event with a score of 8.35.

The Raider gymnastics' team overcame illness and injury to post its second highest score of the season and take first place at the seven-team Hudson Invitational Saturday at Willow River Elementary School.

Without Paige Kazak due to illness, and with Sarah Monette limited to just two events with a sprained wrist, the rest of the Raiders stepped up and posted a team score of 133.65 -- its second highest score of the season -- to win the team title.

The Raider junior varsity also fared well, placing second in its portion of the event.

"It is difficult to be on a JV team when varsity members are out because our alternates come from the top of the JV list," coach Holly Stewart said. "But all together, our JV and varsity had 15 season bests."

Amanda Baker led the way for the varsity, placing in the top three in all four individual events to win the all-around title with a total score of 34.55.

Baker took first on the uneven bars with a score of 8.725 and posted third place scores of 8.9 on the vault, 8.475 on floor and 8.45 on the balance beam.

The Raiders swept the top three spots on the uneven bars. Sarah Erickson was second behind Baker with a score of 8.6 while Monette finished third with a mark of 8.2. Brooke Rozenboom also reached the awards stand with a sixth place score of 8.075.

Toria Ferrell turned in the Raiders' top score in the vault, placing second with a mark of 9.0. Ferrell also took fourth in the floor exercise with a score of 8.45 and finished sixth in the all-around competition with a total of 32.45. Rozenboom was eighth in the all-around with 31.7.

Jenny Strom boosted the Raiders' team score and reached the awards stand in two events by finishing fifth on the balance beam with a score of 8.35 and sixth in the floor exercise with a mark of 8.375.

In the JV competition, Brooke Miller took first in the floor exercise with a score of 7.9 and the all-around with a total of 27.7. Kirstin Strom was first on the balance beam with 8.1 and Jenny Strom took first on the uneven bars with 7.7 while Casey Fall placed second in the vault with an 8.1.

The Raiders will resume Big Rivers Conference dual competition on Thursday, Feb. 11, when they travel to Chippewa Falls.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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