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BLUE JAY BRONZE: JHS third in state team competition

Jamestown gymnastics coach Dave Tews was nothing but proud of his team Friday night at Jerry Meyer Arena. The Blue Jays were shooting for silver, but bronze ain't bad. Dickinson ran away in capturing its third-straight North Dakota high school st...

Jamestown's Haley Nelson performs Friday on the balance beam at the state gymnastics championship at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Jamestown's Haley Nelson performs Friday on the balance beam at the state gymnastics championship at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Jamestown gymnastics coach Dave Tews was nothing but proud of his team Friday night at Jerry Meyer Arena.

The Blue Jays were shooting for silver, but bronze ain't bad.

Dickinson ran away in capturing its third-straight North Dakota high school state gymnastics team championship, while Bismarck-just like at the West Region competition-slipped past the Blue Jays for second.

Today's individual state competition begins at 1 p.m.

"We were close going into the last event and Bismarck simply took care of business," said Tews, whose Blue Jays posted a 141.783 to Bismarck's 143.099. "They don't have as many kids as we do, but their top four or five took care of it and we needed our top four to do that.

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"But we're certainly not ashamed of where we were. We were just a little off, and not a lot."

Nobody was putting the brakes on Dickinson, which came to Jamestown averaging well over six more points per meet than the competition. Dickinson cruised posting a 148.034, putting up the best team score in all four events.

Jamestown came in second on the balance beam at 35.617.

"We had to count very few errors today," said Dickinson coach Kent Van Ells, whose Midgets soared past 149 three times this season. "It was a really good meet for us. The girls did a good job."

The team title is No. 12 for Dickinson and seventh since 2007.

"We've just had a good run, and right now it's interesting because we have some real good young ones to keep it going," Van Ells said. "But I gotta stress, the older girls really pulled this together-with their maturity and their experience-it really made a difference."

The focus now shifts to today's individual competition, where plenty of eyes will be watching Dickinson sophomore Ayanna Fossum and Bismarck's Julia Red Wing. Red Wing and Fossum finished 1-2 in the all-around last season, respectively, while Red Wing will also defend titles on vault and bars, and Fossum will attempt to defend her title in the floor exercise.

Jamestown freshman Rachel Schiele should also be in the hunt today attempting to defend her title on beam. Schiele and Fossum entered state having each produced the season's top beam score of 9.7.

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"Julia and Ayanna are really two peas in a pod, as far as scoring," Van Ells said. "If they both hit, it could be like last year when there was a tenth-of-a-point between them. But if either of them have a problem, there's other girls who can come in and win it too.

"It's who does it on that day."

Jamestown will be looking to mirror last season's performance on day 2, where it topped 143.5 as a team during the individual round.

"I'd like to see us have a repeat of last year," Tews said. "Let's have a really good score, and sometimes maybe the pressure is off the kids a little bit.

"I know a couple kids are going to try a couple different things, and a lot of those close things that we had today-maybe we'll get that extra tenth or so tomorrow?"

N.D. High School State Gymnastics Meet

At Jerry Meyer Arena

Team competition

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1. Dickinson 148.034; 2. Bismarck 143.099; 3. Jamestown 141.783; 4. Grand Forks 138.948; 5. Bismarck Legacy 135.582; 6. Minot 134.665; 7. Valley City 134.082; 8. Fargo Davies 129.035.

Team event totals

Dickinson: vault 37.483; bars 36.633; beam 36.484; floor 37.434.

Bismarck: vault 35.8; bars 34.867; beam 35.549; floor 36.883.

Jamestown: vault 35.150; bars 34.483; beam 35.617; floor 36.553.

Grand Forks: vault 34.899; bars 34.632; beam 33.3; floor 36.117.

Legacy: vault 34.649; bars 34.517; beam 32.4; floor 34.016.

Minot: vault 33.382; bars 33.899; beam 33.433; floor 33.951.

Valley City: vault 34.65; bars 33.7; beam 31.083; floor 34.649.

Davies: vault 33.333; bars 29.017; beam 31.901; floor 34.784.

Related Topics: JAYS
Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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