When dealing with adversity in a sport like football or baseball it's dealt with as a team.
When it happens in a team sport that's individual-based, like gymnastics, it's one athlete against the judges, other teams and an athlete's own fears.
That's what the Brainerd Warriors went through Saturday at their quadrangular, which they won by more than four points over defending Class 2A state champion Wayzata.
With a slim three-point lead heading into its final routine, Brainerd needed a solid performance from its floor exercise.
Annie Bahr nailed a 9.1 followed by Kathleen Lorenz's 9.15. Those were solid numbers, but the Warriors were hoping to get three more solid ones.
Up next was Katie Perpich, who was on a roll. She had finished third on vault with a 9.4, third on uneven parallel bars with a 9.675 and second on balance beam with a 8.65. Now was her time to shine.
But on one of her runs the sophomore slipped and crashed to the floor.
A dazed Perpich got up with noticeable pain, but continued her routine. She couldn't finish, however, as the pain wasn't the only thing wrong. Blood was coming from her nose and her routine was stopped.
Now Brainerd needed something big. Molly Smith came through with a 9.2, but Brainerd needed something bigger.
That's when Amanda Johnson came through.
"You get kind of scared because you don't know what's going to happen with you," Johnson said about what happened to Perpich. "You just have to keep telling yourself that you've done this a million times and it's just a really slim chance that it's going to happen.
"It's kind of hard because all of your teammates are talking about it, but you do it for them."
With a new routine that she performed for the first time Dec. 4 against Little Falls, Johnson thrilled the crowd and the judges for a 9.55, good enough for second place individually, but more importantly good enough to lift the Warriors past Wayzata.
"There was a lot of added pressure," said Johnson. "I usually don't go last. Ending on floor, and going last, the whole meet kind of depends on you, but I always go to my coach (Dave Maras) and I ask him for words of wisdom."
The score was a personal best for Johnson.
"Gymnastics is an individual sport and it's a team effort," said Warriors coach Dave Maras. "In a sport like this you have to watch your teammate occasionally fail. You can either fail with them or you can help them out by giving a little more.
"Katie went down and these other two girls knew exactly what they had to do. Molly took something out of her routine to make sure she got a good score. Then Amanda went out and hit hers as well as she could."
Brainerd picked up its lead thanks to a school-record setting performance from its uneven bars team.
A domino effect of great scores soured until Molly Smith broke the school record with her first-place 9.7. Briana Lester followed with a 9.675 good for second place.
"It was a team effort," said Lester. "Once a person starts and they hit, and then another person hits and another person hits, the scores just keep getting higher.
"If you hit one event then you have a lot more confidence in the other events. We were down by three going into that event so we wanted to do well.
"We wanted to rebound. We knew we were a lot better than that and we wanted to show this gym what we could do and I think we did that."
Brainerd gathered 38.525 points on the bars, less than 1 1/2 from perfect.
"You have to give a lot of credit to some of our junior varsity kids that went up first because they swung some outstanding routines," said Maras. "Then you have Molly coming out and hitting the best score in school history and Briana Lester tops it off with a 9.6, which is the second best score in school history."
Team scores -- 1-Brainerd 145.825, 2-Wayzata 141.100, 3-Robbinsdale/Armstrong/Cooper 135.250, 4-St. Paul Highland Park 127.400
Uneven parallel bars -- 1-Molly Smith (B) 9.7, 2-Briana Lester (B) 9.675, 3-Katie Perpich (B) 9.6, 4-Tami Hels (W) 9.6, 5-Kathleen Lorenz (B) 9.55
Balance beam -- 1-Krystle Schuttta (SPHP) 9.050, 2-Katie Perpich (B) 8.650, 3-Lorenz (B) 8.55, 4-Stacey Johnson (RAC) 8.5, 5-Mary Neuman (SPHP) 8.5
Floor exercise -- 1-Jamie Hels (W) 9.7, 2-Amanda Johnson (B) 9.55, 2-Angela Cich (RAC) 9.55, 4-Smith (B) 9.2, 5-Tami Hels (W) 9.15
Vault -- 1-Smith (B) 9.5, 2-Tami Hels (W) 9.45, 3-Perpich (B) 9.4, 4-Jamie Hels (W) 9.0, 5-Schutta (RAC) 9.0
All-around -- 1-Tami Hels (W) 36.450, 2-Smith (B) 36:400, 3-Lorenz 36.150, 4-Jamie Hels (W) 36.1, 5-Angela Cich (RAC) 35.7
Overall -- B 1-0. Next meet -- Brainerd at St. Cloud Apollo 7:30 p.m. Friday.
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