Esky gymnasts place 7th at regionals
Derouin, Block qualify for states on the vault
GRAND RAPIDS — The Escanaba gymnasts held their own in the team regional here Saturday, placing seventh with 128.025 points.
Rockford/Sparta was crowned champion at 145.8, followed by Jackson 143.025 and Grand Rapids Forest Hills United 142.15. Marquette finished ninth (118.45) and Negaunee was 10th (48.575).
Esky’s Abbie Derouin and Madison Block qualified as individuals for the state meet by placing in vault. They resume Saturday at Rockford.
Derouin tied for third with Rockford’s Anna Tracey with 8.85 points. Block ended in a four-way tie for seventh at 8.75 and Lizzy Sliva narrowly missed qualifying despite a personal-best 8.7.
“Vault has always been a strong event for us and the girls knew the best chance to make it to states would probably be on vault,” said Esky coach Theresa Pascoe. “Our team doesn’t have the depth in twisting jumps quite yet to place on beam or floor, but we’re getting very close. I do believe next year some of the girls should qualify in more than one event.”
This will be Derouin’s second trip to the state meet after placing fourth on vault in last year’s regional.
“When the girls were finished with their own vaults, Abbie, Maddy and Lizzy all were in the top eight places,” Pascoe said. “Then, the second half of the program began. Our girls were keeping an eye on all vault scores anticipating whether or not someone would be knocked out of a spot because of ties. I wish all ties would have stayed as ties as Lizzy would have also been going to states. Competition is always tough when there are 72 vault competitors trying to be one of the top eight.”
Derouin placed 10th with a personal-best 8.0 and Sliva was 18th among 57 on uneven bars. Derouin also took 23rd out of 64 on floor exercise with a personal-best 8.5.
“Abbie and Maddy do the same vault and throughout the season have been challenging each other for the top spot,” said Pascoe. “This year it will be better at states because Abbie won’t be alone. It’s hard to practice and stay motivated when there is only one person, but since we have two going to states these two young ladies will keep challenging each other for another week.”
Marquette’s Haddie Ketzenberger placed fourth on balance beam (9.275). Esky’s Caitlyn Davenport took 16th (8.25) and Jasmine Clark and Sliva shared 18th (8.15), all personal-bests.
“This was the best day we had as a team on beam this entire season,” said Pascoe. “Among the five gymnasts we had, we only had one fall off beam. I am so proud of these girls and Lexi Peippo and Haley Garcia for being part of our team and helping others to do their best. Our fourth and fifth-spot gymnasts are very crucial to a good team. They must always be ready to step up with routines because you never know when they may be needed to fill a spot.”
Also recording personal-bests were Peippo on vault (7.85), Garcia on floor (7.175) and Davenport on bars (6.4).
In all-around, Rockford’s Morgan Case was the leader at 37.5. Derouin took 17th (33.175), Sliva was 18th (32.475) and Davenport had 30.825.