The Rapid City Triangular gymnastics meet is all about getting back into the swing of things after the holiday break, and trying out new skills in preparation for the end of the season and the state meet.
It was good on both ends for Shay Trimble and her Rapid City Stevens teammates Thursday, as well as the ever improving Rapid City Central Cobblers. Trimble won three of four individual events and the all-around as the Raiders had little trouble in the team standings with 140.2 points, followed by Pierre at 133.7 and Central at 123.05.
“It is always interesting as we come back from Christmas break to jump right into competition like we did,” Stevens and Central coach Pam Junek said. “It was good that we were home on our own equipment, but that can be good and it can be bad. The good side of it is they are familiar with the equipment, but the bad side of it is they are familiar with the equipment and they don’t always look at it like it is a competition-piece of equipment.”
Trimble added a new vault and skills on the beam, as well as worked on sticking her landing on the floor exercise.
Those were the positives as she won all of those events.
But she fell twice on the bars and dropped to fifth place overall in the event.
“It didn’t go exactly the way I had planned it, but it wasn’t bad,” Trimble said. “Every time you fall, it is something you can learn from.”
The Raider junior finished with an all-around score of 36.8 points, just ahead of former teammate and current Lady Governor Mikah Moser at 36.4. Emirra Returns was third for Stevens in the all-around at 34.2, followed by teammates Cayla Klapperich at 33.09 and Danielle Schmidt at 33.05.
Trimble won the floor with a 9.65, the beam at 9.5 and the vault at 9.75.
Junek said they tried some new skills and if her girls are going to be successful at state, they are going to have to put these higher-level skills in their routines.
“Some hit today and some didn’t. That’s the way it goes,” she said. "The more they throw it in front of people, the more confidence it builds for them in each meet.”
Moser won the bars at 8.95, followed by Klapperich at 8.6 and Schmidt at 8.35.
Junek said the Raiders had a good day as they were able to compete seven gymnasts, and that gave more girls an opportunity to compete in spots.
“Now we can get some scores for them and we can move forward to see where some of the strengths are,” Junek said. “Danni Schmidt really did a good job today increasing her score and placing in the all-around. She hadn’t competed in all events this year, so that was exciting.
Returns was third on the floor at 9.1, with Klapperich fourth at 9.05. Also for the Raiders, Rylie Stonecipher was third on the vault at 9.2, followed by Schmidt (9.1) and Returns (9.0).
For the Cobblers, junior Jamie Iwan qualified for the state meet for the first time on the beam with a second-place finish at 8.8 points. Iwan was also sixth in the all-around at 32.45. Central’s Reece Lowe was fourth on the beam at 8.7
“That was exciting that she got an 8.8 over there,” Junek said of Iwan. “As a team, Central increased its score by six points from the start of the season. They are improving, which is awesome, in every meet that they do.”
Stevens and Central return to action in two weeks at the Pierre Invitational.
“Hopefully we can keep this momentum going, and now that they have thrown in some of those skills, we don’t have to be surprised that they are actually hitting those skills, but competing in their routines,” Junek said.
Trimble said these next few meets, including the Rapid City Gym O’Rama on Jan. 20, is all about getting prepared for state and achieving her goal of working for state titles.
“I just have to keep working hard, I guess. There’s nothing else much to do but work hard,” she said.