PREP GYMNASTICS: Marshall falls short to Benson in season opener

Photo by Sam Thiel Marshall’s Mikayla Chesley competes on the uneven bars during their meet against Benson/Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg on Thursday.

MARSHALL – With the music blaring loud, chalk dust billowing in the air and routines leaping across the air, the Marshall gymnastics team opened up its season with spirit and enthusiasm on Thursday night against Benson/Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg.

Although the Tigers would ultimately come up just short in their dual meet (128.125-122.050), Marshall coach Larvita McFarquhar said it felt great for them to finally get out and compete so that they can improve in the next meet.

“It feels great; the girls have been working really hard so it’s just nice to actually see them out there and now we know what they need to work on and how to do better next meet.”

Saphi McFarquhar led the way for the Tigers, scoring 8.700 on vault, 8.250 on the uneven bars, 7.850 on the balance beam and 8.450 on the floor exercise for an all-around score of 33.250 to place second overall.

Kaitlyn Matzner scored an 8.250 on vault, 6.450 on bars, 8.050 on beam and 6.975 on floor for a 29.725 all-around score, while Mikayla Chesley posted an 8.650 on vault, 5.250 on bars, 6.425 on beam and 7.050 on floor for an all-around score of 27.375.

Coach McFarquhar added that the team was able to step up and knock out the pre-meet jitters and felt they did a really good job on vault with their energy and focus.

“Just the girls stepping up and getting the jitters out of the way; just getting out there and doing what they know they can do,” coach McFarquhar said. “On vault they did really well just sticking and going for things that they hadn’t been getting in practice.”

Marshall will compete next on Dec. 14 against Worthington at 6 p.m. Coach McFarquhar said their biggest takeaway is just continuing to hone in on the new skills they’re working on and just cleaning up some fundamentals.

“We’re pulling out new skills, so just getting those down and under our belt and just trying to clean up what we’ve been working on,” coach McFarquhar said.