Ava Drewes professes to having no real nerves when she competes.
That stems from the philosophy the Rochester John Marshall sophomore gymnast lives by.
“I just kind of let it all hang out,” she said. “I just think positive. Just do what you can do.”
Nerves or not, Rochester gymnastics coach Kelsi Vomacka said that the JM sophomore was in a tough spot Friday as she tried to realize all of her potential in the Section 1AA meet at Rochester Century.
It was the order of the events that was too bad for Drewes. First up for her was the event that she likely had the best chance of qualifying for state in, the balance beam. But with it coming right out of the chute, establishing an immediate rhythm was a problem.
Drewes, Rochester’s only All-Big Nine Conference gymnast this season, came up short, scoring a 7.625 on the beam, well off her standard. She was actually much better in the other three events, with an 8.100 on the bars, an 8.025 on the vault and a 7.950 on the floor. That gave her an all-around score of 31.700, best on the JM team.
Century had the highest team score of the Rochester schools, at 131.450. That was good for fifth. Mayo totaled 128.475 and JM 120.550. Northfield was the team winner (147.250), followed closely by Owatonna (146.875) and Rosemount (145.100)
“I fell (during the beam routine),” Drewes said. “I didn’t have my best performance there. It was a little bit discouraging. But next year, I can just work harder and do better.”
Vomacka considers balance beam performances unpredictable whenever they’re done in a meet, but especially this early.
“The beam is a little bit of a crapshoot,” Vomacka said. “Still, what (Drewes) did today was great. She fought for her skills. It wasn’t the score she was hoping for. But it’s nice because she’s only a sophomore and I know how high her skill level is. I think as she continues through the years, we’ll start seeing those scores go up and that she’ll hit them in a section meet.”
Drewes was an unknown for Vomacka. At least that was true when the season started. It was the first time that Drewes had been out for the JM team, having spent all of her gymnastics time prior training at Jets Gymnastics.
With that, Vomacka didn’t know what to expect from her.
But as the Rochester coach spent more practice time with her, it was as if Drewes had something new to show her every day.
Vomacka delighed in watching the unveiling.
“It was like (Drewes) had this bag of tricks that she kept showing us,” Vomacka said. “We weren’t aware that she was as gifted as she is.”
Vomacka is expecting big things from the sophomore in the future. She says she’s got the right skills and temperament for that.
Drewes agrees. She’s also thankful for the opportunity to do what she’s doing now.
This high school gymnastics stuff, it agrees with her. That includes having one head coach for all three Rochester schools, with all three of the programs training together.
Drewes says that they’re all for one.
“We love cheering for each other,” Drewes said. “All of us work hard and we all deserve to be cheered for.”
• Century’s Lauren Pavelko was the highest finishing Rochester gymnast, landing 11th overall with a 33.175 all-around. Pavelko’s top two scores were 9.075 on the floor and 9.050 on the vault. Teammates Madison Habberstad and Emma Lundquist were right behind her, landing 12th and 13th.
Mayo’s Molly Soderberg was 14th.
Northfield 147.250, Owatonna 146.875, Rosemount 145.100, Farmington 142.875, Century 131.450, Mayo 128.475, Hastings 121.275, John Marshall 120.550.
Top three individuals
1. Lindsay Bangs (Owatonna): 9.625 vault, 9.650 bars, 9.050 beam, 9.525 floor, 37.850 all-around.
2. Avery Doman (Rosemount): 9.325 vault, 9.550 bars, 9.225 beam, 9.375 floor, 37.475 all-around.
3. Adison Dack (Northfield): 9.200 vault, 9.525 bars, 9.175 beam, 9.500 floor, 37.400 all-around.
Rochester individual scores
Century (top three)
Lauren Pavelko: 9.050 vault, 7.275 bars, 7.775 beam, 9.075 floor, 33.175 all-around.
Madison Habberstad: 8.500 vault, 7.700 bars, 7.950 beam, 8.675 floor, 32.825 all-around.
Emma Lundquist: 8.650 vault, 7.500 bars, 7.775 beam, 8.650 floor, 32.575 all-around.
Mayo (top three)
Molly Soderberg: 8.875 vault, 6.850 bars, 8.050 beam, 8.450 floor, 32.225 all-around.
Maya Nordine: 8.350 vault, 7.100 bars, 7.650 beam, 8.725 floor, 31.825 all-around.
Miya Ohashi-Berg: 8.575 vault, 7.725 bars, 7175 beam, 8.250 floor, 31.725 all-around.’
John Marshall (top three)
Ava Drewes: 8.025 vault, 8.100 bars, 7.625 beam, 7.950 floor, 31.700 all-around.
Harleigh Fridlund: 8.300 vault, 6.500 bars, 7.100 beam, 8.350 floor, 30.250 all-around.
Taylor Drewes: 8.025 vault, 6.250 bars, 7.600 beam, 8.125 floor, 30.000 all-around.