Valley City Times-Record


Karina Olson becomes first Hi-Liner All-Around State Champ

- By Paul McDonald TR News/Sports

In a sport that has been dominated by the western schools in the past, the east had a great showing at the 2023 State Gymnastics Championsh­ips in Jamestown.

Three. of the four individual events were won by gymnasts from Dickinson. Aspen Rodarmel won the Bars, Reygan Strommen won on the floor and Elizabeth Karsky won on the vault. The lone event that was won by someone not from Dickinson was the beam. That was won by Valley City’s Karina Olson. In the process of winning one event, placing second in two events and sixth in the other, Olson won the All-Around state title. Last year she became the first Hi-Liner gymnast to win an individual event at state when she took first in the floor. This year, she became the first Hi-Liner to win the AllAround championsh­ip. Her All-Around score was 38.017 which was .584 points ahead of second place finisher, Brooklyn Wariner of Dickinson.

Olson came very close to taking three individual championsh­ips on the day. Along with her first place beam routine that she scored a 9.450 on, she was second in the floor, and second in the bars. And both came down to the end. Heading into the fourth and final rotation, Olson was in first in the both the bars and the floor. But Aspen Rodarmel of Dickinson, the second to last competitor on the bars, scored a 9.7 which past Olson;s 9.567 to take first. On the floor, Olson was first until Reygan Strommen, the last competitor on the floor, hit a 9.700, passing Olson’s 9.683 to take first. Olson took sixth in the vault with a 9.317.

It wasn’t until the very end that Olson knew she was a state champ in the All-Around. “My routines were up and down so I really didn’t know until they announced my name, ” Olson said. “So yeah, its crazy.” With this her senior year, Olson said this was the goal from the beginning of the year. “That was my mentality coming in,” Olson said. “You know, have fun senior year, it’s your last one so go out with a bang.”

Olson, became the first Eastern Dakota Conference gymnast in 14 years to win the All-Around. Alex Braaten of Grand Forks won the All-Around in 2009. She is also the first EDC gymnast to win the beam since Kiara Bock of Fargo Davies in 2014. And she is the first EDC gymnast since Braaten in 2009 to win All-Around and an individual event.

Sophomore Jessica Ranisate competed in the vault at the state competitio­n. She ended up tied for 26th in the event at her first state competitio­n.

At the team competitio­n on Friday, Dickinson scored a 148.983, three-and-a-half points better than second place Bismarck Century. Jamestown was third followed by Minot, Bismarck Legacy, Breckenrid­ge-Wahpeton, Mandan and Grand Forks.

It was the eighth straight state team championsh­ip for Dickinson and tenth in eleven years. The 148.983 was the most points scored by a state champion since Minot scored a 149.967 in 2015.

Karina Olson, pictured on right, in a senior photo from Diane J. Hochhalter Studio.

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