Josie Harguth is at maximum difficulty for her beam routine.
That means the defending 8-2A Division champion can’t do anything harder to improve her score. By the end of the season, it’s all about perfecting her routine and the Brainerd Warrior doesn’t have much to do to achieve that.
Harguth led a Brainerd Beam Brigade that propelled the Warriors to a 138.3-137.6 win over 8-2A Section foe Bemidji on Tuesday, December 14 at Brainerd High School.
Harguth won the balance beam with a 9.25.
“Right now I’m feeling pretty good on beam,” Harguth said. “I just hope to keep the positivity and the movement going for the rest of the season. I just take it day by day and keep the same feeling running through it.
“I feel about the same level of confidence as last year. It’s the exact same routine. I’m just trying to clean up the little things like toe pointing and making sure my connections are all there.
For the second meeting of the season, Harguth will take a 9.25. She said she would be happy with anything above an 8.7. At the end of the year, she is looking at scores of 9.4 to 9.5.
Harguth was followed by Brenna Deason in third with an 8.75. Evi Helsene placed fourth with an 8.45. Kami Peterson was fifth at 8.25 and Anaka Schroeder was sixth at 8.2. Those scores helped Brainerd amass 34.7 points on balance beam, while Bemidji scored just 32.325 points on elevated apparatus.
“Our beam has been strong for the past few years,” Harguth said. “We were close to breaking the school record, so I think we’re really trying to get closer to that school record.”
Brainerd’s freshman head coach, Jessica Lofrano-Larson, echoed Harguth’s sentiment that Brainerd’s beam was strong.
“Our beam is so good,” Lofrano-Larson said. “We have a lot of very confident kids on the beam. It was really fun to watch them relax and fall into their routines. At this point in the season in the past, the beam still feels fragile and new. This year the girls look and feel relaxed on the balance beam which has been really fun.
Schroeder also recorded a first-place finish on floor with a score of 9.2. Haley Jones and Peterson tied for fourth at 9.05 seconds. Brainerd outclassed Bemidji 35.76-35.325 on the floor.
The vault and the bars belonged to the Lumberjacks. Harguth and Sophia White are tied at 8.1 seconds for Brainerd’s best score on bars. This tied them for fourth place.
Deason was second on vault with a 9.5. Peterson placed fourth and Ella Dircks sixth.
“I think no matter how the competitions went, the atmosphere was fantastic,” Lofrano-Larson said. “We have great chemistry in the gym right now. I think that’s why we’re good. We’re not really concerned about how the competitions are going to go or how our opponents are doing. I think we’re more concerned with getting to the competition, staying upright, and staying happy. We do what we know how to do.
“I always say my favorite thing about gymnastics is that it doesn’t matter how the other team competes. We prepare the same way no matter what. We just go out and do what we do.
It’s Brainerd’s second win against a team the Warriors lost to last season. Brainerd started with a win over Sartell last week. Thursday they travel to Sauk Rapids and Saturday they host their vacation tournament. Due to the busy schedule, expect roster changes in Brainerd’s next two competitions.
“We certainly have depth and it was fun bringing everyone together and moving people around, but we also have three competitions this week,” Lofrano-Larson said. “We rest a few legs. We cycle people in and out just to make sure the bodies stay fresh. We have a smaller roster this year, so we have fewer people to choose from. I just don’t want to risk anyone getting injured so early in the season. We’re tired and it’s also late in the school year and they’re kids. They have lots of things to do.
This approach seems to work with the girls as she said the atmosphere in the practice room was relaxed.
“Beating these teams is really nice and it’s exciting to know that our team has the ability to do it,” said Harguth. “I think our new coach is handling things very well. It was good that we got to know her before. She’s not getting into something completely new and the new coaching staff are handling it very well. It’s just Really positive vibe in the gym lately and it’s been really good right now.
Brainerd 138.3, Bemidji 137.6
Jump: 1-Lauren Berg (Brd) 9.55, 2-Brenna Deason (Brd) 9.5, 4-Kami Peterson (Brd) 8.85, 5-Ella Dircks (Brd) 8.7, 7-Sydney Jones (Brd) 8.65, 9-Evi Helsène (Brd) 8.5
Asymmetric Parallel Bars: 1-Tatum Offerdahl (Bem) 9.1, 4t-Josie Harguth 8.1, 4t-Sophia White (Brd) 8.1, 6-Deason 7.95, 7t-Haley Jones (Brd) 7.95, 7-Peterson 7.95
Beam: 1-Harguth 9.25, 3-Deason 8.75, 4-Helsene 8.45, 5-Peterson 8.25, 6-Anaka Schroeder (Brd) 8.2
Floor Exercise: 1-Schroeder 9.2, 4t-Haley Jones 9.050, 4t-Peterson 9.050, 6-Meghan Wirtz (Brd), 7-Sophia White 8.4
All-Around: 1-Lauren Berg (Bem) 34.250, 2-Peterson 34.1
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at 218-855-5856 or [email protected] Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.
Warriors 138.3, Bemidji 137.6
Key: Brainerd’s beam scored 34.7 points against 32.325 for Bemidji
Globally: Brd 2-0
Following: Brainerd in Sauk Rapids at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 16.