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Paynesville Press - February 16, 2005

Nehowig wins WCC uneven bars title

By Michael Jacobson

Sophomore Kacy Nehowig won the uneven bars competition at the West Central Conference meet on Saturday, scoring 9.3 to shatter her school record.

Nehowig is believed to be the first PAHS gymnast to win an event at the conference meet. According to back issues of the Press, no Bulldog gymnast has won a conference title since 1976. Before that, not enough teams in the conference had gymnastics to have a conference meet.

Anne Roeser did take first place in a triangular meet with Melrose, Paynesville, and Sauk Centre - the only three teams in the conference with gymnastics - in February 1976, scoring 6.0 on the uneven bars.

kacy Paynesville has had a gymnastics team since 1974-75.

By increasing the difficulty of her routine and perfecting her moves, Nehowig scored 9.3 on the bars on Saturday, topping Dana Dierkhising of Melrose, who scored 9.15.

Sophomore Kacy Nehowig broke her school record on the uneven bars on Saturday, scoring 9.3, and became the first PAHS gymnast to win a conference title. Her previous school record, set two years ago, was 8.8 on the uneven bars. This week, Nehowig and her teammates will compete at sections at NL-S.

Nehowig first broke the school record on the uneven bars in December 2002, scoring 8.8. The previous record of 8.55 was set by Tina Lieser in 1989.

"If Kacy can nail the same routine at sections, she will earn her first appearance at the state gymnastics meet," said coach Deb Nehowig, also Kacy's mother. "I'm very confident she will make it. Last week at practice, she worked on cleaning up her routine to near perfection. Kacy has the routine to advance to the state meet."

The Section 6A gymnastics meet will be held at New London-Spicer High School on Saturday, Feb. 19, starting at 6 p.m. It will feature all six conference teams plus Litchfield and Ortonville.

Nehowig also earned All Conference honors in the West Central Conference for the fourth straight year. All Conference honors are given to the top 15 scorers in dual meets and at the conference meet.

Nehowig also placed seventh in the all around and 13th on the vault, beam, and floor at the conference meet.

Eighth grader Anna Kotten earned honorable mention honors in the West Central Conference for the second straight year. She placed 13th on the bars, 17th in the all around, 19th on the beam, and 20th on the floor exercise on Saturday.

The Dogs finished sixth as a team despite a strong score of 119.4, just a point short of their season high of 120.575. "To be 0.6 points from scoring 120 without any seniors competing and only one junior competing on one event is encouraging for our team for the next two years," said coach Nehowig.

State-rated Melrose edged host Benson/KMS by less than a point (139.725 to 139.1) for the team title.

The Dogs were sixth on the vault, beam, and floor, but finished fourth on the bars, scoring a season high of 29.850. In addition to strong routines by Nehowig and Kotten, sophomore Brittney Spanier also had a personal best bar routine, scoring 6.9. "She has improved on bars a great deal from the beginning of last season to the end of this season," said coach Nehowig.

Team Scores
1. Melrose 139.725
2. Benson/KMS 139.1
3. Prairie Centre 128.775
4. New London-Spicer 125.225
5. Morris Area 124.95
6. Paynesville 119.4

Individual Results
Vault: Kacy Nehowig (13) 8.7; Anna Kotten (23) 8.3; Brittney Spanier (26) 7.85; Cassey Lund (27) 7.55; Tanis Beireis (30) 7.3; TOTAL: Pay - 32.4 (6);

Uneven bars: Nehowig (1) 9.3; Kotten (13) 7.85; Brittney Spanier (23) 6.9; Beireis (27) 5.8; Celia Frieler (29) 4.45; TOTAL: Pay - 29.85 (4);

Balance beam: Nehowig (16) 7.45; Kotten (19) 7.1; Kayla Nelson (23) 6.6; Frieler (27) 6.2; Christine Spanier (29) 6.1; TOTAL: Pay - 27.35 (6);

Floor: Nehowig (13) 8.5; Kotten (20) 7.85; Christine Spanier (26) 7.0; Lund (29) 6.45; Frieler (30) 4.75; TOTAL: Pay - 29.8 (6);

All around: Nehowig (7) 33.95; Kotten (17) 31.1.

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