HURON — The vault competition hasn’t been much of a strong suit for the Huron gymnastic team during previous seasons. However, it will be the lone event the Tigers will be represented in at the Class AA State Meet, which is scheduled for Saturday at Watertown Civic Arena.
Sophomore Adison Gross and freshman Eastyn Eichstadt will be competing for Huron at the season-ending event.
“Vault has been one of our strongest areas the entire season,” said Huron coach Julie King. “I have not had a season like that where vault was our strong area and I think they are going to do fantastic.”
The duo turned in scores of 8.550 during the Eastern South Dakota Conference Meet held Saturday at Tiger Acitivities Center to earn their first trips to the state meet.
“We haven’t qualified as a team for a few years now, so I think they are really excited to see what the state meet is all about and it will be great experience,” King said. “It will make them quality veterans for the following season.”
Vaulting has emerged as a favorite event for Gross.
“The most challenging thing is blocking and sticking your landings,” Gross said of competing in the vault. “I think about everything my coach has told me, like bring my arms to my ears, block and to stay tight.”
Eichstadt pointed to vaulting as her best event this season and is looking forward to the experience.
“This will be my first time going to state and I’m excited to see how it will be like to compete in the big show,” she said.
Eichstadt will be aiming to surpass her season-best score of 8.95 in the event this season.
“I’m looking to use power and push through it to do my best,” she said of her approach to the vault. “Then to twist and stick your landing.”
Both Huron gymnasts will be looking to execute their best handspring full on the vault during the state meet.
“Adison has been doing her handspring full for a couple years now, but she has perfected it and made it a little bit cleaner,” King said. “Eastyn has been doing handsprings but now she has also added a handspring full.
“A handspring by itself is an 8.6 and a handspring full is a 9.4, so that is why you saw the bump in the scores,” she said. “It makes it a more difficult vault and more exciting.”
Both of the Huron gymnasts are scheduled to compete in the first of three pods. They will be on the vault during the second rotation, starting at 11:33 a.m.