The Caledonia/Houston/Spring Grove gymnasts hosted their final meet of the season Feb. 7 when they entertained the Holmen Vikings. The Vikings, an always strong team from east of the Mississippi, game out on top by less than three total points and they edged the Warriors 125.875-122.95.
On a night reserved for the recognition of seniors Skylar Schoh and Kolinda Kolek, as well as parents, the Warriors were dealt a devastating blow near the end of the meet when Kaylee Cavanaugh was lost for the remainder of the season. Competing on the floor exercise, Cavanaugh appeared to injure herself when she completed a jump and rolled both her ankles. It was later revealed by coach Jackie Johnson that Cavanaugh had broken the growth plate in both ankles.
“With 20 seconds left she ended up coming down funny from a straddle jump and rolled over both ankles,” Johnson said. “I knew she was hurt and wanted to approach the mat and have her not finish, but she continued with two more jumps and her last tumble pass of a round-off back handspring back tuck and ended her routine with a smile on her face.”
The loss is a tough one for the Warriors, who will travel to Byron Saturday for the section meet without Cavanaugh, who, despite the injury, won the all-around Thursday and placed third in the bars, beam and floor and fourth in the vault. “Kaylee is a tough gymnast to finish the meet,” Johnson said. “The team will miss her and her talent when we go to sections, but I am sure she will be with us to cheer on her team.”
Holmen took top honors in every event Thursday but the Warriors dominated the rest of the spots. Besides Cavanaugh’s efforts, the Warriors got solid performances from Sierra Hunter, who placed second on the uneven bars and floor exercise and fourth on the beam and vault. Tara Solberg was fifth on the floor and fourth in the vault as the Warriors claimed four of the top five spots in the all-around. Johnson said that Alissa Peterson will be the alternate for Cavanaugh on the beam, vault and floor with Emily Hahn filling in on the bars “We will miss Skylar and Kolinda very much. They have done a great job representing the Warrior gymnastics team for the past six years,” Johnson said.
After Saturday’s section meet at Byron, the state meet will take place Feb. 22 through 23 at the Sports Pavilion at the University of Minnesota.
– Brady Ambrose