Gymnastics: Raptors soar to a 145.55 in season opener
The question now is what the East Ridge Raptors are going to do for an encore.
At their best last season, East Ridge scored a 143.375 — a mark that earned them seventh at state.
In their season debut Thursday, Dec. 7, the Raptors threw a 145.55. That score would have placed the team fourth at state last season.
So it's safe to say the Raptors got the 2017-18 season off to a rousing start, easily vaulting past a good visiting Forest Lake team, 145.55 to 138.475.
"I don't know what to say," said Caroline Urgo, who opened her East Ridge varsity coach career with a major splash. "This is really exciting. We prepared pretty well, I think."
East Ridge junior Cassie Kahrer and eighth-grader Hailey Tretter went 1-2 in the all-around. Kahrer, still battling a nagging injury suffered in last season's state meet, scored a 37.2 while Tretter, a newcomer to the team, had an all-around score of 35.8.
"I'm really proud of our team," said Kahrer. "I think we all came together as a team and I think just cheering each other on really helped. And I think that this year we're already off to a better start."
Kahrer and Lexie Corcoran were double winners. Kahrer finished first on the bars (9.275) and vault (9.525) and Corcoran gained the top scores on beam (9.325) and floor (9.425).
"Today was just like a baseline and everybody did really good," Corcoran said. "We'll for sure probably make goals tomorrow at practice."
And likely high goals at this rate.
East Ridge gymnasts dominated the vault with a 1-through-4 sweep and won five of the top six places on the floor. In all, the Raptors had 12 scores of nine or better in the meet.
Urgo was happiest with the Raptors beam performance, however.
"The girls just stayed calm," said Urgo after the Raptors went 1-2-4-5 on beam. "There were things even though we scored really well on beam that we're still — as it was going on — oh, is she going to come through with this? You could see them take a deep breath and finish it and land. If you don't know how to stay calm on beam, it's not going to work. One thing at a time. You can't rush it when you're up there on a 4-inch beam."
With Corcoran, Kahrer, Tretter, Alyssa Chandler and Hannah Walker, the Raptors showed they will have a formidable fivesome this season. Chandler was second on the beam and Walker second in the vault Thursday. East Ridge also has depth with several other gymnasts pushing for varsity spots.
"We don't know who to put in every week, which is amazing," Urgo said.
The Raptors also have a schedule built for success this season, getting traditional state powers Roseville and Stillwater at home. Next up for East Ridge is another home meet, this one against Mounds View on Thursday, Dec. 14.
Vault — 1, Cassie Kahrer, 9.525; 2, Hannah Walker, 9.425; 3, Alyssa Chandler, 9.25; 4, Hailey Tretter, 9.175.
Bars — 1, Kahrer, 9.275; 4, Tretter, 8.775; 5, Lexie Corcoran, 8.55; 6, Walker, 8.2.
Beam — 1, Corcoran, 9.325; 2, Chandler, 9.3; 4, Kahrer, 9.125; 5, Tretter, 9.05.
Floor — 1, Corcoran, 9.425; 2, Kahrer, 9.275; 4, Walker, 9.05; 5, Chandler, 8.825; 6, Tretter, 8.8.