Coldwater Gymnastics posts highest team total of season, earns bid to MHSAA Regionals
KENOWA HILLS, MI. — The Coldwater Cardinal gymnastics team traveled to Kenowa Hills on Saturday for their annual invitational.
The Rockford Rams continue to dominate the gymnastics world with their first place finish with a score of 141.25 points. The Grand Ledge team was just 0.5 points behind for second place, while Lowell finished in third followed by Holt and Kenowa Hills who rounded out the top five. Coldwater finished in sixth place overall behind the host team by a margin of 0.2 points.
It was a big finish for Coldwater who posted their highest team total of the season at 127.175 points, a score that helped the Cardinals clinch their final team MHSAA Regional qualifying score, meaning this group of mostly young gymnasts will compete as a team at the MHSAA post season competition in March.
“Assistant coach Janet Kahler and I are so proud of the continued improvements of this team,” commented Coldwater head coach Kim Nichols. “Once they got their first team score, they just kept them going and never looked back. They’ve earned four straight team scores in a row. It is amazing to see how far they have come since the beginning of this season.”
Three individual Cardinals finished on the podium against some of the toughest competitors in the state, including Randi Dudek, Charlotte Calhoun, and Kiraly Schoenauer.
Coldwater began the competition on the vault, putting up a total of 34.35 points in a season best tally for the team and their highest event score of the day.
The highlight was that each Cardinal who competed on the varsity squad earned a regional qualifying score. Leading the team on the vault were Calhoun and Schoenauer who tied with 8.7 points each.
Following close behind was teammate Randi Dudek who scored 8.65 points. The senior Co-Captain finished the day in third place overall for Division 1 (D1).
Posting a personal best and earning her third qualifying score was freshman newcomer Sofia Gruner with a mark of 8.3 points. Competing on the event for the first time was freshman Macy Poradisz, who earned her first qualifier at 7.9 for her debut. On the JV squad, Teagan Rabideau posted her personal best score of 7.7, just 0.2 shy of the Regional mark. The young Cardinal flock posted 29.425 points on the uneven bars for their second rotation.
Coldwater had an impressive total of three individual gymnasts earn awards on the podium for their routines at the end of the day led by Charlotte Calhoun. Calhoun finished in second place overall for Division 2 (D2) with her score of 8.65 points. The junior standout introduced a new dismount, but fell on the landing and took a .07 deduction. She will look to improve the skill in the coming weeks before the postseason event.
Dudek, performing one of her best routines of the season, finished third for D1 at 8.325 points while sophomore Kiraly Schoenauer claimed the ninth place finish (D2) with her score of 8.05 points.
Gruner, Klara-Sophie Bollmann, and Rabideau also competed for Coldwater on the bars. After the lunch break, Coldwater performed on the balance beam where four individuals stuck their routines. Two of the Cardinals earned qualifying scores and four collected personal records helping the team tally 30.975 points.
Calhoun came up big with her second highest score of 9.225 to finish in fourth place overall (D2). Schoenauer also put together a nearly flawless performance, earning 8.05 for her efforts. It was her third individual regional score, meaning she needs just one more to compete in the postseason on the beam. A host of new Cardinals put together strong performances and introduced new skills into their routines. “The girls earned a rare compliment from the beam judge who noted how far the gymnasts have come since their first appearance at Rockford,” noted Nichols. “It was very inspirational to know that the girls’ hard work and mental focus on the beam has even caught the attention of the judges.” Freshman Halie McFarland posted an impressive 6.75 points for a personal best as well as Carly Krzyzanski, who earned a personal best in the JV competition. Also collecting personal best scores for their efforts were Aroa Ramos-Galvez and Halle Towers. The floor exercise was the final event for the Cardinals where the team posted 32.375 points.
“I felt the judging was very tough on the floor, but we had performed so well during the rest of the competition that we still posted a team high score at the end of the day,” commented Nichols.
Schoenauer led the group with 8.2 points, followed by Dudek at 8.175. Dudek fell on her first pass as she introduced an advanced high superior tumbling pass for her twisting skill, taking a 0.7 deduction. Calhoun had a misstep in her final dance series element which cost the junior a 0.4 deduction. She earned 8.05 points for her efforts. Coldwater has been working hard in the gym to polish their routines and upgraded their skills for their floor exercise. Many of the gymnasts used Saturday’s meet to continue that process.
“We used today to put some harder skills into the routines for our top girls,” explained Nichols. “We knew it was risky, but it was a good opportunity for us since it wasn’t a conference meet allowing the girls to start preparing for the League meet and Regionals.” Sofia Gruner tied her personal best with a consistent mark of 7.95 points, which was her fourth and final qualifying score, meaning the freshman newcomer will officially compete on the floor in the postseason with her veteran teammates.
Also competing for Coldwater on the floor were Poradisz, McFarland, Rabideau, Towers, Ramos, and Carly Krzyzanski. For the all-around competition, Calhoun finished in sixth place in the field of tough D2 competitors with her four event total of 34.575 points. Coldwater will host the Parma Western Panthers on Thursday for a make-up meet that was canceled due to inclement weather last week. The gymnasts are also working on their preparations for the Stick It meet. The Cardinals are accepting donations to create baskets for their Silent Auction and selling donation raffle tickets. All of the proceeds will benefit local cancer patients of Branch County.
This article originally appeared on Coldwater Daily Reporter: Coldwater Gymnastics earns Regional Bid with high point total