The MHS gymnastics team paused to reflect on their unusual but highly successful season during their annual awards banquet on Tuesday, March 1. Head coach, Amber Fraasch, summarized the year in numbers. “The team’s average of 129.028 was the second highest average in school history, second only to our record-setting 2019 season and just edging out our season last year at 128.939.” “The level of ability and scoring capability as a team is also indicated by their consistent high team scores when the entire team was competing. The team record of 134.325 points was set in 2019. The 2021-2022 team now holds three of the top-fifteen team scores in school history, including the second-highest team score of 133.300 points.” According to Coach Fraasch, this team also holds multiple top-ten totals in all four events including the eighth and ninth top event scores in the vault, the third and tenth top event scores in the beam, and the fourth and eighth highest scores in the floor exercise.
Individual gymnasts were also lauded for their efforts and accomplishments this year. Madison Mathews, Dani Yamaura, Rylie Overby, Aubrey Fraasch, Hannah Brown, Gemma Street, and Macyn Dunihoo all received Major M awards. Mathews and Yamaura also received Senior Awards.
Dani Yamaura began gymnastics in third grade. She qualified for the state meet in all four events this year and finished her high school career with a 14th-place finish in the all-around competition. She was recognized for attaining the top score and most points in multiple events throughout the years, including the highest all-around and floor scores this season. She also made the top 15 individually at the state meet in at least one event all four years since she was a ninth grader.
Madison Mathews, who started competing in gymnastics in fourth grade, was recognized for her biggest score improvements this year of .525 on the beam and .800 in the all-around competition. She qualified for the state meet in the vault, floor, and bars and also competed in the all-around.
Junior Rylie Overby was recognized for completing her first long hang kip this season. She competed in all the team events at the state meet this year and qualified individually in the floor competition.
Sophomore Aubrey Fraasch was named the MVP of the Lady Bulldogs this year. She had the team’s highest beam and bar scores and was voted Most Dedicated by her teammates. She tied the MHS school record on the beam this season with a no-fall routine that earned a 9.500. She was named the state runner-up on the beam and placed ninth in the all-around. She was also selected for the All-Tournament team during this year’s state meet.
Hannah Brown, a ninth grader, celebrated her second year on the varsity squad, She competed in all four team events at the state meet and qualified individually in the vault and bars.
Freshman Gemma Street, in her first year on the varsity team, earned the Rookie of the Year Award from her coaches and the Most Improved Award from her teammates.
Macyn Dunnihoo, an eighth grader, was selected to move to the varsity squad near the end of this year’s season. She improved her scores, competed in two varsity meets, and was voted the Hardest Worker by her teammates.
Coach Fraasch said, “We had a great start to the season and finished the first half with a huge team score of 133.300 points on December 14. The holiday break was followed by injury and illness and the team had to battle its way back. We ran a little short on time, but still finished the season scoring above 130 points in both the Region 1A NEC and State meets.”
The Milbank gymnastics team has only scored above 130 points 19 times in school history — three of those scores came this season, and two were recorded in the last two meets of the season. “In previous years, a 131 would have been at or near the top of the field at the state meet,” Coach Fraasch explained. “This year, our score of 131.350 barely secured our spot at the state meet. We went in as the No. 8 seed, and our goal was to finish higher in the standings. We accomplished that goal with a seventh-place finish. The teams and competition in Class A continue to get better each year.”
Minor M awards went to members of the junior varsity team: freshman Johana Jimenez, eighth grader Jaiden Tillotson, and seventh grader Mady Sletten. In the junior varsity competition, Dunnihoo was recognized for scoring the most points per event in the all-around at 78.650, the vault at 23.150, the bars at 15.000, and the beam at 19.600. Sletten took top honors on the floor at 21.200.
Also in the junior varsity competiton, Dunihoo posted the top score per event in the all-around at 27.600, the vault at 8.050, and the bars at 5.500. Street was tops on the beam at 7.300 and Sletten led the floor competition at 7.350