Esky gymnasts win Elks Invitational

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Escanaba’s Maddy Block begins to vault during the Elks’ Invitational Saturday at Escanaba.

ESCANABA — The Escanaba gymnastics team is another step closer to regional competition after a first place win at the Elks’ Invitational tournament here Saturday. The Eskymos totaled 122.05 points, followed by Marquette with 119.6 and Negaunee with 98.55.

“(I’m) very proud of all my girls,” Esky coach Theresa Pascoe said. “(I’m) very proud that this is our second (score above 120). Marquette (wasn’t) far behind us. I was impressed with them today.”

Marquette’s Haddie Ketzenberger finished first all-around with 34.3 points thanks to first-place finishes on floor (8.7) and beam (8.85) with a second-place on the uneven bars (8.25).

“I think we’ve been working really hard this season, and I’ve been working since October,” Ketzenberger said. “Working every day at practice and just the repetition is what’s helped me. I felt pretty good today even though it was the first meet, which is always kind of nerve-wracking. I thought it went well.”

Negaunee’s May Waters finished second all-around with 33.4 points after taking top honors on uneven bars (8.4) and second-place finishes on floor (8.4) and beam (8.05).

Esky rounded out the top five in all-around with Abbie Derouin (32.4), Maddy Block (30.25) and Lizzy Sliva (29.85).

Derouin finished top in vault with 9 points, followed by Block (8.7), Waters (8.55), Ketzenberger (8.5) and Sliva (8.25).

“I like vault — it’s fast and it’s quick,” Pascoe said. “They did fantastic. We’ve been working on vault. I want Abbie and Maddy to work a handspring one-and-a-half in — that’s our next skill to work on. (We’ll work on) Lizzie moving up to a hand-spring full.”

The Eskymos took the final three spots in bars with Derouin (7.8), Sliva (7.2) and Caitlyn Davenport (6.1).

“On bars, we need to start working on connection moves for Caitlyn,” Pascoe said. “Lizzy has too many stops, and Abbie just had a bad break today. Her routine was flowing beautifully, but her grip slipped and she ended up coming off.”

Block (8.3), Derouin (8.2) and the Redettes’ Julia King (8.05) rounded out floor.

“On floor, we were just talking the other day about adding more difficulty,” Pascoe said. “Not in our tumbling passes, but in our dance, which is your jumps and leaps. Over Christmas vacation, we need to take a look and see how we can incorporate those.”

The Redettes ended up with three spots on beam with Grace Henning (8.05) finishing third, King (7.5) taking fifth and Esky’s Jasmine Clark (7.55) landing fourth.

“We’ve got lots of new kids,” Redettes’ coach Bridget Johnson said. “(We’ve) got a big team this year. I was especially proud of how everyone did. Everyone stuck their routines and nobody fell off the beam. I think we did absolutely amazing. We’re hoping to go to states again this year.

“Our second half is a little rough, so we’re going to be working on bars and just cleaning everything up.”

Pascoe felt the Eskymos have some clean-up to do on beam.

“Jasmine took fourth in beam,” she said. “She’s got a lot of difficulty in her routine.

“Whoever stays on beam wins, and we’ve been having a lot of trouble staying on beam. The skills that our girls are doing, they can do, but it’s just the nervousness. We’re all capable of being up (there) with those scores.”

Escanaba hosts Marquette again Wednesday, while Negaunee travels to Marquette Jan. 10.


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