Minot finishes second at Kim Lupo Memorial

Robbie Werchau wore a massive smile as she walked her daughter to the middle of a mat toward the center of Gymagic.

With about 10 minutes until the start of the Kim Lupo Memorial gymnastics meet Friday, Werchau played the role of proud mother to her freshman daughter Hannah on Parents’ Night. When the event started a few moments later, Robbie transformed back into her position as head coach, jovial for the most part but critical when she had to be.

“That’s a hard line to draw,” Robbie said. “I was asked by another coach today, ‘Is it hard to watch?’ And it is hard to watch sometimes. A little bit of mom comes out and then if I see something I need to tell her then the coach kicks in.”

Hannah’s fourth-place all-around finish was second on the team behind Sam Huether’s 37.375. Huether placed second in both the vault and floor routines and third in the balance beam. Werchau took fourth in the beam, the floor and the uneven parallel bars to help guide the Majettes to 147 points and a second-place team finish, just .975 points behind Dickinson.

“That’s my best meet this year,” Hannah said. “It really motivates me to do even better. … This is a really good placement for me.”

Dickinson and Minot have finished first and second at state each of the last six years, with the Majettes taking home the title the last four seasons. This marks the second straight meet this year where the Midgets have finished ahead of Minot.

Dickinson freshman Acacia Fossum, the two-time defending all-around state champion and 2012 floor titleholder, won the all-around, beam and floor on Friday. Another Midget, Keana Kudrna, snatched first place in vault away from Huether, the 2011 state champion.

But the 147 points is a season high for the Majettes, who look to keep racking up better scores in the West Region meet Feb. 15 and in the state meet in Valley City on Feb. 22.

“It’s very encouraging to us,” Robbie Werchau said. “Each time we’ve competed, our team score’s gone up, it’s gone up, it’s gone up. Dickinson’s hasn’t necessarily, so we feel we’re going to be right where we need to be.”

Huether echoed her coach’s sentiment. She sees room for improvement in bars (8.9, 10th place) and vault. Despite not winning the vault, Huether said there is no disappointment at this juncture of the season.

“It’s not state yet,” Huether said. “That’s my main focus right now.”