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Esky gymnasts begin season downstate over the weekend

ESCANABA — The Escanaba gymnasts got an opportunity to test themselves against stiff competition downstate during their opening weekend of competition.

Esky teams placed fifth and sixth in Saturday’s Huron Valley Invitational after dropping a 118.95-113.3 decision at Tecumseh Friday.

Despite where the Eskymos finished, coach Theresa Pascoe was pleased with the effort.

“The girls got off to a great start,” she said. “Our main focus of practice has to be to stay on the (balance) beam,” she said. “We had 15 falls off the beam for a loss of 7.5 points Friday. If we can make up these points, we can score 120 points, which is what we must score four times during our regular season to qualify as a team for regionals. I am very confident that we will reach that goal.”

The Eskymos, who host Negaunee in a dual meet Wednesday at 6 p.m., return nine from a year ago. They have 10 on their roster this season.

Esky Team A scored 116.025 and its B team had 30.1 in Saturday’s meet.

“We had six girls get qualifying scores all together (Friday),” said Pascoe. “The first meet jitters are over. I thought the girls were stronger and looked better during Saturday’s meet. We had nine falls off the beam, which is better than Friday night. We also had three more qualifying scores on beam, four more on vault and three on floor (exercise). We saw some good skills. Some of our girls are going to start working for higher difficulty in our routine.”

The Eskymos have four seniors. They are Maddy Block and Sophia Slight in all-around competition, Jasmine Clark (uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise) and Brooke Lancour (vault, bars and floor).

Representing the junior class is Abbie Derouin (all-around) and sophomores include Caitlyn Davenport, Alexis Peippo and Lizzy Sliva (all-around) and Haley Garcia (beam and floor).

The team’s lone newcomer is freshman Marissa Onate (vault, beam and floor).

Derouin placed third in all-around with 30.125 points and won bars (7.5), was runner-up on beam (7.125) and tied for fourth in vault (8.225) at Tecumseh.

Block took fifth in all-around (28.7), second in vault (8.475) and floor exercise (8.175), fourth on beam (6.525) and fifth on bars (6.1).

Clark was runner-up on beam (7.125). Sliva took fourth on bars (6.825) and Davenport was fifth on floor (7.7).

“The team sportsmanship was totally awesome, with every team cheering for each other,” said Pascoe. “It was a great weekend to be an Eskymo.”

All of Esky’s home meets take place before the holidays. After Wednesday’s meet, the Eskymos then host the Elks Invitational Saturday and Marquette in a dual meet Dec. 18.

“We are self-funding, and if anyone would like to make a donation, checks could be made out to EHS Gymnastics, 300 S. Lincoln Rd., Escanaba, Mich. 49829,” said Pascoe. “Gymnastics is not a primary sport, but we have 10 competitors that work hard every day to be part of our Eskymo family. Please consider donating.”

The remaining schedule:

Dec. 11 — Negaunee; Dec. 14 — Escanaba Elks Invitational; Dec. 18 — Marquette.

Jan. 10 — at Marquette; Jan. 25 — at Valders, Wis.

Feb. 1 — at Antigo, Wis.; Feb. 5 — at Negaunee; Feb. 7 — at Grand Ledge; Feb. 8 — at Coldwater; Feb. 24 — GNC meet at Negaunee.

March 7 — Regional meet at Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills; March 14 — State meet at Rockford.

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