Krause ties bars record to cap big week; Raiders 2nd at RF
Kyla Krause capped an outstanding three-day stretch by winning two events with personal-best scores, including a school record-tying effort on the uneven bars, while leading the Medford Raiders to a second-place finish at Saturday’s 10-team River Falls Winter Wonderland Gymnastics Invitational.
With season-best team scores on the bars and balance beam, Medford totaled 134.95 points to trail the host Wildcats by 0.85 points in the final standings and miss last year’s school record of 135.175 by just 0.225 points. A little bit of an off day for the team on vault hurt the chase for the record, but overall, head coach Steve Cain said it was a great day of competition for the Raiders. “We were 0.85 from being right up there with River Falls,” Cain said. “That’s not that big of a margin. The jumps we’ve had have been in small increments, but the thing is that they’re going up. When I look at that, I think things are getting fixed. The girls are maintaining and fixing. We’re not going backwards. The girls are not letting things slip. Their work shows.”
The Raiders started the day with a season-high 33.95 points on the balance beam and a season-high 32.85 points on the bars. The score on bars was more than a point higher than anything Medford had hit in its previous four meets.
That success started with Krause who equaled the school record of 8.85 set at last year’s state meet by teammate Kate Malchow. Malchow tied Menomonie’s Izzie Whitman for third at Saturday’s meet with her 8.45. Lauryn Perry of Saint Francis, Minn. was between the two top Raiders with an 8.575. Sophomore Shayla Radlinger had her top score of the year at 7.875, which was part of a three-way tie for 10th. Avery Purdy’s 7.675 was her best score of the season and was good for 19th out of 50 gymnasts and Delaina Meyer tied for 39th at 6.525.
“Kyla’s routine was just about flawless, just like her beam routine,” Cain said. “All of the girls on bars, their form was outstanding. They still have a couple things they have to fix.”
Krause’s winning score on the beam was 8.9, easily beating her 8.725 of two years ago. Malchow earned an 8.75 to finish fifth. Purdy’s 8.2 tied her season-best score and placed 14th, just ahead of teammate Veronica Mateer, who got an 8.1. Kaileigh Mientke filled the fifth spot for Medford and earned a 6.575 that Cain felt should have been higher and challenged, but the score did not change.
“Starting out on beam for us is always like, “oh boy,” Cain said. “But Kyla placed first and her beam routine had to be almost flawless. I’m serious. If I had to pick it apart, she maybe stepped out on her dismount when she landed. She had one jump height where one judge could’ve said it was good and one could’ve said not good enough. She maybe had a couple of minute little bobbles. But she PR’d with an 8.9 by a good margin. As a team, to get 33.95 for beam, that started out the meet on a very good note. With the judges being super picky and watching stuff, for the girls to get what they got, they did great. They did fantastic.”
Medford earned 34.225 points in the floor exercise, led by Malchow’s fifthplace score of 8.775. Krause (8.65) and Meyer (8.575) were ninth and 10th with Meyer’s score being a personal best. Radlinger came in 17th with an 8.225 and Mateer was 19th out of 50 floor entrants with an 8.125. Ella Rhein of Chisago Lakes, Minn. won it with a 9.4 and Ella Pierce of River Falls got a 9.2.
“We had everybody there in the top 50%,” Cain said. “The judges kind of said the same thing about our girls. They have excellent floor routines. They’re show stoppers. They just have to connect their jumps. We just have to make sure to do that. I thought they did really well.”
Krause tied for 10th on the vault with an 8.7 to finish with a new personal record of 35.1 all-around points. She was just 0.075 points away from Malchow’s school record of last year and placed third in Saturday’s all-around competition behind Rhein (35.975) and Pierce (35.425). Meyer tied for 22nd on vault with an 8.45 that was a tenth off her best of the year, Ellison Carbaugh was 24th for Medford at 8.425, Malchow tied for 25th at 8.35 and Raider Bridget Cloud tied for 34th at 8.25.
Malchow was fifth in the all-around standings with 34.325 points, just behind Perry (34.375).
Chisago Lakes was third in the team standings with 131.95 points, followed by Saint Francis (131.625), Centennial, Minn. (129.7), Hudson (129.2), Ashland (127.125), Bloomer (119.6), Grantsburg (114.65) and Menomonie (113.525). “What’s really cool is this meet offered a great range in diversity with Division 2, Minnesota and Division 1 teams,” Cain said. “Even though this meet was not a conference meet or anything that counted, to them it counted and they put their best foot forward. They really did.”
Medford will next compete Tuesday at Antigo in a triangular that also includes Mosinee. The Raiders will be back four days later for the Antigo Invitational.
Loss at Marshfield
The scores were pretty solid Thursday, but the Raiders ran into a team that was on top of its game as host Marshfield broke a school record for team scoring and beat Medford 139.05-134.025.
The loss was Medford’s first in Great Northern Conference competition since the 2017-18 season, but the Raiders knew they were going to be challenged in this first season in the GNC’s Large Division.
Cain said there were some distinct areas where the judges told the Raiders they need to improve, which could make this meet beneficial going into this season’s second half.
“We were at 134.025,” he said. “In the last meet we had a 132.575 and we had 131 and 126 before that. So we jumped it up. We’re going up. Unfortunately, so is Marshfield.”
Krause paced the Raiders with a victory on the vault and she tied for first place on the floor. On vault, she earned a 9.2 to fall just two-tenths off her school record and finish 0.15 points ahead of the night’s all-around champion Ellie Jensen. Marshfield’s Phoebe Hernandez was third at 9.0.
Medford’s 34.4 team points were just four-tenths off its season-best total in the event. Meyer tied Tiger Paige Treutel for fourth place at 8.45 and Malchow tied Abby Pietsch for sixth at 8.4. Carbaugh got an 8.35 to place eighth and Cloud was 10th at 8.125.
“The judges talked to me and there’s few things (to fix),” Cain said. “One is legs coming apart when you leave the board. They have to get those legs tight. The girls have improved on that, they truly have. They also have to maintain vertical. They have to go over the center of that vault table and they have to reach a vertical point. You have to be straight up overhead before they start coming down and twisting or just landing on their feet.”
Landings and approach speed to quicken the vaulters’ time on the table are also items the Raiders will work to clean up.
Krause’s 9.2 highlighted Medford’s best day of the year on the floor and was good for a first-place tie with Hernandez. Radlinger earned a personal-best score of 8.775 to place sixth, Malchow and Mateer tied for seventh with 8.5s and Meyer was 10th at 8.0. As a team, Medford earned 34.975 points, but Marshfield nailed the event with 36.5 points.
“The judges came over and talked to the girls,” Cain said. “They told the girls, number one, they absolutely loved their routines skill-wise and just the basic presentation and what they have put together with their routines with the music. They said they’re absolutely just wonderful. They said now we need to see some character. We need to see some excitement out there.” Medford’s overall performance on the balance beam to close the meet was solid too. Between the nine varsity and JV beam performers, he said there were just three falls. It was the bobbles, however, that hurt just a bit. Malchow led the varsity with an 8.9 that put her in second place, just behind Jensen’s 9.15. Krause was fourth with a season-best 8.45, just behind Hernandez’s 8.6. Purdy was fifth at 8.1, Meyer was seventh with a 7.95 and Mateer was eighth at 7.85. The team total of 33.4 was its second-best mark of the year and was just 0.05 points behind Marshfield’s total. The big things the judges want to see from the Raiders are higher jumps and fewer connection breaks.
“The judges judged harshly on connections of their skills,” Cain said. They want to see that routine flow from beginning to end.”
Malchow led Medford on the uneven bars with a 8.4 that was good for fourth place. Krause was seventh at 7.8, followed by Radlinger’s 7.6, Meyer’s personal-best 7.45 and Purdy’s 7.35. Jensen won the event at 8.85. Again, Cain said connecting the skills is where Medford can boost its score going forward.
Jensen’s 36.225 points won the allaround competition, while Krause (34.65), Malchow (34.2) and Meyer (31.85) were second, third and fourth.
Marshfield won the JV meet 123.5-98.2, but the Raiders posted some good results there too.
Mientke won the balance beam with a personal-best 8.3 and Cloud tied for second with a personal-best 8.2. Radlinger tied for seventh at 7.3 and Carbaugh was ninth at 7.1. Mateer and Mientke tied Marshfield’s Ashley Jaeger for first on the vault with 8.4s. That was a personalbest for Mientke. Radlinger was fourth at 8.2 and Purdy was ninth at 7.7. Medford outscored Marshfield 32.7-32.6 on the vault.
Purdy got an 8.0 to place second on the floor, while Cloud was seventh at 7.2. Carbaugh tied Jaeger for third on the bars with a 6.7, Mateer was part of a three-way tie for fifth at 6.5 and Cloud was eighth at 6.2.