The official results are in. The Milbank Area gymnasts are headed to State!
Both the state Class A and Class AA championship meets take place this weekend, February 11-12, at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
Besides competing as a team, Milbank gymnasts who will also compete individually include:
Madison Mathews – Vault, Bars, Floor Dani Yamaura – Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor, All-Around Rylie Overby – Floor Aubrey Fraasch – Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor, All-Around Hannah Brown – Vault, Bars
According to Amber Fraasch, head coach for the Lady Bulldogs, only the top eight teams from Region 1 and Region 2 make it to the State Class A meet. The top team in each region is guaranteed a spot, the remaining six are decided by total score. The Milbank girls finished fifth at the Region 1A meet in Britton-Hecla on February 3, and they spent 24 hours on pins and needles waiting for the scores to come in from Region 2A on February 4.
Coach Fraasch explained, “There are seven teams in Region 1A: Britton-Hecla, Deuel, Estelline/Hendricks, Madison, Milbank, Sisseton, and West Central. Because this meet was hosted by an NEC school and only NEC teams were at the meet (Britton-Hecla, Deuel, Milbank, and Sisseton), the scores were also used to score the NEC championship meet.
At Britton, Deuel won the team title with a score of 137.450; Britton-Hecla was second with a score of 131.875, Milbank third with a 131.350, and Sisseton fourth with 114.875.
Fraasch said, “We were solid on the first three events, but struggled on beam, our last event. We ended up fifth in the (Region 1A) team standings and had to wait until after Region 2A results were posted Friday night to find out whether the team qualified for the state meet or not.”
According to Fraasch, the level of competition increases every year, and although the Lady Bulldogs had received a score of just over 131, unlike other years, it was not a guarantee of a state berth. Fraasch said, ” A few years ago, it would also have placed the team toward the top of the standings.” But, the Lady Bulldogs got the job done!
Deuel won the team title with a score of 137.450; Britton-Hecla was second with a score of 131.875, Milbank came in third with a 131.350, and Sisseton was fourth at 114.875.
The Lady Bulldogs began the night on the floor, and Macyn Dunnihoo started the team out strong with a personal best score of 8.100. Rylie Overby also hit her routine. She scored an 8.400 — her highest score this season — and only slightly less than her personal best.
Dani Yamaura led the team with score of 8.950. She claimed a sixth-place finish. In the vault competition, Yamaura tied her season-best score and led the team with an 8.750 to earn 11th place. Hannah Brown was right behind her with an 8.725 to take 12th place. It was her third state-qualifying score and it automatically qualified her for the state meet in vault.
Madison Mathews and Aubrey Fraasch each scored an 8.600 to tie for 15th place. Overby scored her season-best score of 8.225. Coach Fraasch said, “Our streak continued on bars. We hit six of six! It was overall one of our best bar sets in years.”
A. Fraasch led the team with a 7.900 and a 10th-place finish. “We finished the meet on beam at 9 p.m,, around three hours after competition started,” Coach Fraasch said. ” All the other teams were done before our rotation even started, and we were center stage on the make or break event.” She went on to say, “It just didn’t happen for the girls that night.”
A. Fraasch recorded Milbank’s highest score of 8.600 and placed sixth in the event. Yamaura completed the team’s only no-fall routine. She finished 10th with a score of 8.325. A. Fraasch led the Lady Bulldogs in the all-around competition. She brought home a sixth-place finish and a score of 33.975.
The top five teams in the standings of Region 1A are: Madison at 138.250, Deuel at 137.450, Estelline-Hendricks at 134.425, Britton-Hecla at 131.875, and Milbank Area at 131.350.
The top three teams in the standings of Region 2A are: Hot Springs at 136.250, Chamberlain at 135.150, and Wagner-Bon Homme at 132.725.
Join The Valley Express in wishing the Lady Bulldogs the Best of Luck at State!
Photo: Macyn Dunnihoo, Hannah Brown, Rylie Overby, Madison Mathews, Dani Yamaura, Aubrey Fraasch and Gemma Street