With a season-high 145.30 points, the Brainerd Warriors didn't cower under the pressure of Class 2A's second-ranked St. Cloud Tech Tigers.
Led by Melissa Brown's first-place 9.4 on balance beam, the Warriors topped their previous best by 2.35 points. It wasn't enough as Tech scored 146.60 and won the Central Lakes Conference meet Thursday at Brainerd High School.
Tech's win keeps it unbeaten (7-0) and hands Brainerd its first loss (6-1). Despite the downfall, Warriors coach Dave Maras was pleased.
"Tech is ranked No. 2 in the state and our goal was to come in here and compete at our very best level, which, I thought, for the most part, we did," Maras said. "We hit our season high and that's just good gymnastics. A lot of kids contributed to that."
Maggie Freiday won the uneven bars
Tech scored 3.225 below the season best which it registered last week against St. Cloud Apollo.
Tech won every event with the closest being beam where the Tigers scored 35.75. Brainerd recorded a 35.70 thanks in large part to Brown.
"Melissa Brown, I loved it," said Maras. "She did a beam routine today with no wobbles. Absolutely no wobbles. All the difficulties. No wobbles. No breaks. There's just nothing you can take away from her and that was so deserving. She's spent a lot of time on beam."
Brainerd's Maggie Freiday captured the uneven bars with a 9.25 that helped her to a first-place all-around score of 37.00. Sam Smith was third in the all-around with a 36.2.
During the floor warm-up Smith had difficulty hitting a one and a half flip so she changed her routine and it paid off. Smith managed a fourth-place 9.25.
Melissa Brown placed first on the balance beam
"We did take out the one and half and put in a full just to get a score and everything else went good so it turned out OK," Smith said. "It's exciting to know that it's going to be a good section meet. It's exciting to know that we're up there with them. The hard work is finally paying off."
Freiday was second on the floor and Arianna Lofrano was sixth. Smith was fourth on bars, one of the exercises Maras was most happy with.
"Every day in practice there is a lineup for bars," said Maras. "Ever since we had a little talk about our bars, every day we're there plugging away and it's starting to show. We went from a not-so-good 30 points on bars to 35-plus today so we're getting much, much better."
St. Cloud Tech 146.60, Brainerd 145.30
Tech 146.60, Warriors 145.30
Highlights: Melissa Brown scored 9.4 to win balance beam and Maggie Freiday won the uneven bars and all-around
Conf: Brd 6-1, Tech 7-0
Overall: Brd 6-1, Tech 7-0
Next: Brainerd at Park of Cottage Grove Invitational at 11 a.m. Saturday
Uneven parallel bars - 1-Maggie Freiday (Brd) 9.25, 4-Samantha Smith (Brd) 9.15, 8-Carlie Kramer (Brd) 8.75, 9-Mary Petersen (Brd) 8.65, 10-Arianna Lofrano (Brd) 8.40
Balance beam - 1-Melissa Brown (Brd) 9.4, 3-Lofrano (Brd) 8.95, 6-Freiday (Brd) 8.85, 9-Smith (Brd) 8.5, 10-Kramer (Brd) 8.5
Floor exercise - 1-Amber Christenson (Tech) 9.5, 2-Freiday (Brd) 9.45, 4-Smith (Brd) 9.250, 6-Lofrano (Brd) 9.00, 9-Kramer (Brd) 8.75, 10-Lingwall (Brd) 7.10
Vault - 1-Alise Post (Tech) 9.70, 3-Freiday (Brd) 9.45, 4-Kelsi Ring (Brd) 9.40, 5-Smith (Brd) 9.3, 7-Lingwall (Brd) 9.2, 10-Kramer (Brd) 8.50
All-around - 1-Freiday (Brd) 37.00, 3-Smith (Brd) 36.2, 5-Kramer (Brd) 34.5
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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