The first big test of the season came Saturday for the Brainerd Warriors gymnastics team, which was competing in its third meet in five days, as it hosted the Brainerd quadrangular.
The Warriors passed the test as they finished second, losing to Robbinsdale Armstrong by less than a point. Armstrong scored 141.90 to win the team competition while Brainerd posted 141.25.
"Robbinsdale Armstrong picked up some kids this year and they're an awfully good team," Warriors coach Dave Maras said. "There was some real good competition and we welcome that because that's the only way we're going to find out where we stand and how we're going to get better."
The Warriors were led by Kathleen Lorenz, who finished third in the all-around with a score of 35.90, and Katie Perpich, whose 35.75 in the all-around was good for fourth.
Angela Cich of Armstrong won the all-around with a 37.55. Cich also won the uneven parallel bars, floor exercise and vault events.
Lorenz earned a 9.0 on the balance beam and 9.1 on the floor. Perpich scored a 9.45 on vault and 9.15 on bars.
"I tried to be less nervous, and since it wasn't a conference meet, I just tried to relax a little bit and go after things a little bit harder," Perpich said. "The first vault I ran a little slower so on the second one I ran faster, went after it and it turned out pretty good."
The performance of the day for Brainerd came from senior captain Danielle Arnold, who posted a 9.2 on beam to win the event.
"This felt really good," Arnold said of her winning beam routine. "You work so hard for so long, then this meet comes along and I just hit everything. One of my goals for this year was to get a 9.0 on beam and I did that so that was exciting."
Maras was also excited for Arnold, who has been working on her beam routine for years. Her hard work finally paid off.
"That doesn't surprise us a bit," Maras said of Arnold's beam routine. "Danielle has been working on beam for five years now and in practice she's been getting better and better. The thing about her routine is that it's so clean and it has all the elements. She executes it so well.
"The other night she fell three times but when she got up there today you knew from the get-go she wasn't coming off. She had to settle a score."
Brainerd's Kathleen Lorenz scored a 9.1 on her floor exercise routine on her way to placing fourth.
Brainerd shot out of the gate, scoring 36.0 on vault, but Maras thought it was the always difficult beam event that helped the Warriors finish strong.
"Our vault came through with Katie Perpich and Joleen Buchta, who had a great vault today in her first competition," Maras said. "It isn't often when you can look at beam and say, 'That was our strength for the day,' and that's exactly what it was. I'm pleased with how our girls performed."
Team scores -- 1-Robbinsdale Armstrong 141.90, 2-Brainerd 141.25, 3-Wayzata 137.95, 4-St. Paul Highland Park 130.95.
Uneven parallel bars -- 1-Angela Cich (RA) 9.6, 3-Katie Perpich (B) 9.15, 5-Kathleen Lorenz (B) 8.9, 7-Kara Rutman (B) 8.5, 13-Stephanie Peterson (B) 8.05, 17-Amanda Johnson (B) 7.75, 18-Lauren Trapp (B) 7.6, 25-Tonya Redshaw (B) 6.9, 26-Carli Osell (B) 6.9.
Balance beam -- 1-Danielle Arnold (B) 9.2, 3-Lorenz (B) 9.0, Perpich (B) 8.7, 9-Johnson (B) 8.55, 15-Maggie Freiday (B) 8.3, 16-Jessica Lofrano (B) 8.2, 18-Arianna Lofrano (B) 8.05, 20-Jenny Carson (B) 7.8.
Floor exercise -- 1-Cich (RA) 9.3, 3-Johnson (B) 9.1, 4-Lorenz (B) 9.1, 8-Freiday (B) 8.55, 10-Perpich (B) 8.45, 11-A. Lofrano (B) 8.45, 14-Lauren Deyo (B) 8.25, 20-Bahr (B) 8.0, 24-Nicole Smith (B) 7.7.
Vault -- 1-Cich (RA) 9.55, 3-Perpich (B) 9.45, 9-Joleen Buchta (B) 8.95, 11-Lorenz (B) 8.9, 12-Carson (B) 8.7, 16-Johnson (B) 8.55, 18-Bahr (B) 8.45, 18-Trapp (B) 8.45, 21-Peterson (B) 8.35.
All-around -- 1-Cich (RA) 37.55, 3-Lorenz (B) 35.90, 4-Perpich (B) 35.75, 8-Johnson (B) 33.95.
Conference -- B 2-0. Overall -- B 2-0. Next meet -- Brainerd hosts Cambridge noon Saturday.
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