Gymnastics home meet was historic

I had the privilege of attending the Viking gymnastics team’s first home meet in almost a decade on Tuesday, Dec. 20. It was truly humbling to be honored along with colleagues Randi Johnson, Brett Carlson, Patrick Tepoorten, Coleman McDonough, Kindra Helin, and Joan Audette (not all were able to be present unfortunately) for the work that went into realizing this long-awaited moment.
It was followed by a stunning routine, in honor of the event, that involved both high school gymnasts as well as the Community Education gymnastics program. For me it was an emotional moment, as I am sure it was for many in attendance that night.
The squad was able to host a home meet for the first time in such a long time because, at long last, the gymnastics center was moved from a cafeteria at the North Branch Area Education Center to the east gym at the high school. The ceiling height in the Ed Center cafeteria did not meet regulation height requirements and therefore was deemed unsuitable for competition.
It took roughly two years of work to make the possibility of home meets a reality for all of our gymnasts. I am very appreciative of all the support we received for the move from the community and staff. I am also deeply grateful for all of the athletic programs that were willing and able to make adjust routines and locations to accommodate their fellow Viking competitors.
Like all of our athletes, our gymnasts work incredibly hard and earned two trips to the state tournament in three years. They were able to accomplish that despite never having a home gym advantage, or competing in front of a home crowd!
That was certainly not the case on Dec. 20! Community members, families, and alumni gymnasts turned out in droves to be a part of this historic event. It was an amazing crowd treated to a Viking victory over the Rush City-Pine City-Hinckley Finlayson Flamingos; the first of many home victories to come!

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