Fix cousins enjoying return to gymnastics
Hailey and Savannah Fix aren’t Minot High’s standout gymnasts yet. Those honors go to junior Madison Reiter and sophomore Hannah Werchau.
The Fix cousins are still shaking the rust off to some degree. Three-plus years away from the sport can build up plenty of rust.
Their return, in the same year no less, is a bit miraculous in itself.
The pair gave gymnastics a second chance after injuries led to long hiatuses.
Hailey, a junior, missed four years because of an injury to her right shoulder that never produced an official diagnosis.
“It was frustrating, watching the other girls, (seeing) how far they’d come,” said Hailey. “Frustrating that I couldn’t have been here for so long.”
Savannah, a sophomore, took a three year break thanks to osteochondritis dissecans in her knee, a condition that required two surgeries and six months on crutches.
“It was weird watching them, knowing that I wanted to be out there so bad, but couldn’t,” Savannah said.
Then a run-in last summer promted a text message from Minot co-coach Marissa Albertson to Hailey. Albertson told her to show up at Gymagic at 4 p.m. for practice if she was interested in taking up gymnastics, the sport she excelled at, once again.
Stopping by couldn’t hurt, right?
“I showed up not thinking I would actually practice, but I put in a full practice that day,” Hailey said. “Ever since, I’ve just been coming back.”
Her shoulder still hurts, and she can’t compete on the uneven parallel bars, but she’s back.
And what a time to return. The Majettes have won all six of their meets heading into the Kim Lupo Memorial on Friday at Gymagic, their second home event this year.
Savannah, now a beam specialist, remembers the first home meet this year quite well.
She didn’t join the team until December. She said she couldn’t watch the team and not want to be a part of it. Beam is sufficient enough for her.
On beam, she saved her best performance – so far – for … first. A 8.225 score on beam yielded a fifth-place finish on Jan. 10 at the Saddie Warren Memorial.
“I had a mental breakdown after my routine because it was just so good to be back,” Savannah said.
With a top-heavy team somewhat reliant on Reiter and Werchau’s points – Reiter has won four all-around titles this year and Werchau the other two – any points Savannah or Hailey can provide is a major boost for the Majettes.
Hailey took third on vault at the Fargo Davies Invitational, fifth on vault at the Sadie Warren Memorial and fifth on beam at the Grand Forks Invite.
“Next year I would absolutely love to be a point-provider every time,” Hailey said. “It’s hard because new skills come a little easier to (Reiter and Werchau) just because they have the knack for it because they have that four years on me. They definitely push me to do more reps.”
Still, shaking the rust off has provided points here and there. On Friday, Minot could use a couple of solid outings from the Fix cousins. Defending state champion Dickinson comes to town in the first meeting of the state’s top two programs this year.
“The Lupo’s always been a good meet for us,” Albertson said. “The girls usually have their routines (down), their bigger skills are in. I look for (us) to have probably one of their best performances this year.”
Hailey noted that Minot and Dickinson’s team totals have been near identical this season, leaving much to be determined.
Said Savannah: “I think we can do it. We’re a pretty well-rounded team, pretty strong.”
Minot High senior Jacob Holmen inked with the University of North Dakota football program on Wednesday as part of National Signing Day.
Holmen, a Class AAA first-team all-state tight end, will play long snapper for UND. He is listed as the 44th-best snapper recruit in the nation, according to heralded special teams website KohlsKicking.com.
“I’ll hopefully have the opportunity to compete for the starting job,” Holmen said. “They don’t have a long snapper on the roster right now, so hopefully if I can progress well enough and am fortunate enough, I’ll be snapping game one for them.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Holmen also considered North Dakota State, Minot State and Minnesota State-Moorhead. He said he had plenty of input form his father, Minot High coach Barry Holmen.
“I trust him and what he thinks about coaches and programs,” Jacob Holmen said. “What he thought of UND factored in a lot to what I decided and he felt comfortable leaving me there with those coaches.”
Holmen plans to major in math education and possibly minor in coaching.
The Minot High girls basketball team is promoting Red Night for their game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against Mandan. The event will support Heart Disease Awareness month and Majettes coach Todd Magnuson, who missed two weeks earlier this season due to a heart condition.
Fans are encouraged to wear red. Red shirts and raffle tickets will be on sale by the girls basketball boosters with proceeds going toward prevention of heart disease.
Ryan Holmgren covers Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.