Irish gymnasts work to rebuild


Captains Gracie Elsenpeter, left, and Shauni Johnson, lead a young crew of gymnasts. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

The Maple Lake gymnastics team is rebuilding after losing four seniors to graduation including Jordan Sifferle who claimed a third-place finish at state competition on the vault last year.
A handful of returnees led by 2015 all-conference gymnast Gracie Elsenpeter, and Katelyn Fuller, who earned all-conference honorable mention last season, return to the mat along with three seventh graders. All seven varsity athletes are underclassmen.
“This is a rebuilding year after graduating three varsity athletes, so we have a lot of work to do on all events,” coach Kaitlyn Helmbrecht said.
In addition to the loss of Sifferle, Marisa Hendrickson, Delaney Sifferle and Miranda Powers also graduated from last year’s squad.
Despite the team’s youthfulness, it is not without talent. Elsenpeter was also a Minnesota Gymnastics Coaches Association Honorable Mention on vault last year. She is a junior. Fuller, a sophomore, returns after a knee injury from last season and is already showing great progress, Helmbrecht said.

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