Vikings shatter school records
The North Branch gymnastics team is breaking school records left and right this season.
The Vikings are undefeated at 7-0 so far this season and are currently ranked No. 12 in the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association poll for Class A.
North Branch traveled to Chisago Lakes for a triangular meet against the host team and St. Anthony over the weekend, where the Vikings took first with an all-time high score of 141.825 points.
Before the start of the 2013-14 season, the Vikings’ school record for total team score sat at 134.55, set two seasons ago. During the second meet of the year against Buffalo, the North Branch girls obliterated that score by posting a 137.575.
And they continue to rise. During the Princeton Tournament on Jan. 11, the Vikings took second place while earning 139.125 points. Two days later, they improved again with a 139.750.
Not only are team records being shattered, but junior Katy Trunk is setting high expectations with her stellar performances in the all-around competition. Trunk has earned first place at each meet and on Saturday smashed her own record from last season, a 9.4, on the vault with a 9.55. Trunk also broke her own school all-around record at Chisago Lakes by more than a point, recording 36.45 over the weekend. The gymnast has placed herself in the top five of each school record category and only has beam to improve on from last year.
Newcomers Mikayla Johnson and Megan Mahoney are more than holding their own, with Mahoney breaking the school record on bars at 9.7 by more than a point and Johnson posting nines at each meet this season on the vault, putting her in third all time in the event.
Senior Casey Hovland is having what head coach Barb Burdich calls a “very solid, very good season” for the Vikings, while Burdich said eighth-grader Alexys Olson is holding down the fort by recording consistent numbers in the all-around competition this year.
“They work so well together,” Burdich said. “There’s nothing but positive attitudes in the gym and as far as competition goes, they are out to do better and better each time — team spirit is high.”
Burdich said the squad is exceeding expectations, and in the process, hoping to reach state for the first time as a squad. Trunk has reached state two years in a row, with Hovland joining her last season. Prior to Trunk’s debut, 20 years has passed since North Branch sent an individual.
North Branch traveled to Rush City on Tuesday night and next hit the road on Thursday, Jan. 23, against St. Michael-Albertville.