VERMILLION — A new season brings with it new opportunities for the Vermillion gymnastics team. Longtime coach Mark Upward’s Tanager squad begins their 2012-2013 competition tonight (Tuesday) in a home dual against Sioux Falls Lincoln.
“We lost a couple of gymnasts from last year due to moving and health reasons, so we don’t have a lot of depth in our line up,” Upward said. “We will really rely on our (top) girls to pull the load for the team.”
One of those top girls is senior Jade Fosvedt. Fosvedt returns after leading the Tanagers with an 18th-place individual finish on the beam in the Class A state tournament last year.
Others that Upward is counting on include seniors Morgan Hower (all-around), Alexis Reich (floor) and Rory Tucker (beam, floor) as well as freshman Cheyene Mallory (all-around) and junior Anna Hammond (all-around).
“Those six gymnasts will be the nucleus of our team with support from younger gymnasts,” Upward added.
Mallory as well as seventh-grader Anneliese Taggart should be the top newcomers to the Tanager varsity program.
“Cheyenne has come in this year ready to work and learn,” Upward said. “She is providing a spark to all who want to improve. Anneliese is showing promise and is looking to move into the varsity ranks for us at some point this year. She has been learning new skills that will compliment her routines as she progresses.”
Vermillion placed ninth at the state tournament a year ago after an eighth-place finish in both 2011 and 2010. That is something Upward thinks his team can improve upon.
“Our goal is to place in the top four at state,” he said.
The Tanagers will return home to host the Winter Wonderland Invitational on December 29 before finishing the balance of their schedule on the road.
They travel to Yankton to dual the Gazelles on January 17.
The 2013 Class A state tournament will be held in Rapid City on February 15-16.
You can follow Chris Riley on Twitter at twitter.com/ChrisCRiley