The Brainerd Warriors started strong on the bars and carried the momentum through to a first-place finish at the Brainerd gymnastics meet Saturday.
Brainerd's Becky Walker, who won the vault, finished second in the all-around with a 35.30 behind winner Emily Stalpes of Wayzata. Stalpes won the uneven parallel bars and floor.
Olivia Elsenpeter of the Warriors won the balance beam with a score of 8.90.
Brainerd's two state returners finished in the top 10 of the all-around. Sam Smith captured third and Kelsi Ring placed sixth.
Smith said she sees room for improvement in her routines.
Brainerd's Becky Walker takes first in vault.
"Bars especially, I need to add more difficulty," she said. "Right now I don't have the difficulty I need and I need to clean up my overshoot. On beam, I put in a new routine today, a side aerial and that just needs to be cleaned up and higher difficulty on everything pretty much."
Warrior head coach Dave Maras was pleased with the overall effort of his team.
"I thought we had an excellent beam today," said Maras. "We had a couple of falls but I thought we did as good as we could. We tumbled as hard as we could at the end of the day with the floor routine. I thought it was a good meet."
The Warriors secured four of the top five spots on vault. Walker led the way with a 9.30 followed by Madison Smith's 9.25. Brainerd finished with a 36.85 team score on the vault.
"I think that we started off very well on vault and I thought we had our best vault of the season," Maras said. "But then we did have some miscues on bars and that kind of was a little surprising, but it happens early in the year."
The Warriors top finisher on the bars was Walker again with a score of 8.25 which placed her eighth.
Elsenpeter turned things around for the Warriors on beam. Walker and Sam Smith finished in the top four and the Warriors claimed the top team score with a 34.60.
Brainerd finished the day by placing five performers in the top six on floor for a meet-high 36.40.
Stalpes won the event with a 9.30, but Ring and Sam Smith were right behind her with scores of 9.25 and 9.20.
"(Floor) is not quite where I want, I need another bonus or I need to twist a 1 1/2 backwards," Smith said. "I got a couple of deductions on both of my front passes for being a little short, and there also is a new rule concerning leaps and that has been hitting scores a bit, too."
Entering the season, Maras had four all-arounders. The fourth is Carlie Kramer, who is coming back from a season-ending knee injury last season.
"I am really pleased with the way Carlie is coming along," said Maras. "Early in the year she was a bit tentative and rightfully so, but as of today her routines look strong. It's going to take some time, but we will be good."
Team score: 1-Brainerd 140.300, 2-Wayzata 137.450, 3-Edina 122.950
Uneven parallel bars: 1-Emily Stalpes (Wzt) 8.70, 7- Becky Walker (Brd) 8.25, 8-Madison Smith 8.10, 8-Samantha Smith 8.10, 11-Kelsi Ring 8.00, 12-Carlie Kramer 7.90, 16-Allison Reuer 6.90, 17-Mikayla Cerney 6.65, 19-Lonie Anderson 6.10.
Balance beam: 1-Olivia Elsenpeter (Brd) 8.90, 3-Walker 8.80, 4-S. Smith 8.50, 6-Shana Lingwall 8.40, 8-Madison Grausam 8.10, 9-Ring 7.90, 10-Kramer 7.80, 10-Cerney 7.80.
Floor exercise: 1-Stalpes (Wzt) 9.30, 2-Ring 9.25, 3-Smith 9.20, 4-Kramer 9.00, 5-Walker 8.95, 6-Grausam 8.90, 10-Lingwall 8.60, 12-Jackie Caughey 8.35, 17-Cerney 7.50.
Vault: 1-Walker (Brd) 9.30, 2-Madison Smith 9.25, 4-Ring 9.20, 5-S. Smith 9.10, 7-Lingwall 9.00, 9-Reuer 8.65, 14-Sydney Wold 8.45, 16-Elsenpeter 8.20.
All-around: 1-Stalpes (Wzt) 36.15, 2-Walker (Brd) 35.30, 3-S. Smith 34.90, 6-Ring 34.35
Overall: 2-0. Next: hosts Sauk Rapids 6 p.m. Thursday.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.