Prep Athletes of the Week: Hopkins gymnast wins and grins


Hopkins • gymnastics

Speers soars through the air with the greatest of ease, sporting a determined look on her face and a smile, too.

"I am a competitive person who likes to have fun," Speers said. "I'm driven to achieve goals but will make it work in a positive way."

A junior, she won the all-around competition in a Lake Conference dual meet with Minnetonka with a score of 37.475.

"That was a great meet for me so early in the season," Speers said. "I want to keep improving as the year goes on."

Speers is coming off a seventh-place finish in the all-around competition in the state meet, with a score of 36.95.

"Annabelle is one of the most versatile and impressive gymnasts I've coached," Hopkins coach Meghan Kumpf said. "It seems she can master almost any skill she puts her mind to, which is super fun as a coach."

She excels in the uneven parallel bars. In practice recently, Speers was working on a collegiate-level bars release move and was able to do five different release moves on the apparatus.

"I typically score the highest on the bars. That is my best event," Speers said. "I need to improve the most on the beam. I like to go fast, and you have to go slow on the beam since it's less than four inches [3.9] wide."

Speers is a diver in the fall and a pole vaulter in the spring.

"I love being upside down and flying through the air," Speers said. "It's fun defying gravity."


Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted • basketball

The Lakers were winless in their first four games when Fasching took matters into her own hands. The 5-5 senior guard scored a school-record 41 points, making eight three-pointers, as the Lakers beat Lester Prairie 78-67. She scored more than the Lakers scored as a team in three of the losses. "Our season mantra is 'We over Me' and her teammates did an excellent job of setting screens and finding her for open looks, especially when they realized she had the hot hand," Lakers coach Drew Waldbillig said.


Wayzata • Nordic skiing

The junior posted a winning time of 14 minutes, 1.9 seconds over the 5K course at Hyland Park Reserve in a Lake Conference meet. "Daniel is having a great start to the season," Wayzata coach Andrew Hansen said. "He trained very hard during the summer." McCollor finished fourth in the state meet last winter.


Stillwater • basketball

Shikenjanski issued a reminder that he's also a Division I basketball recruit, scoring 47 points as the Ponies knocked off previously unbeaten Mahtomedi 90-82. Shikenjanski, Stillwater's career leading scorer, is averaging 28.5 points per game. The son of former Gophers basketball player Jim Shikenjanski, Max committed to the Citadel for basketball before changing plans in the fall. Now he's committed to the Gophers football team as a preferred walk-on at quarterback.

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