Girls gymnastics: Tokunaga, Fremd squeak by Conant
Fremd coach Kacey Kronforst says that her star junior gymnast, Kacey Tokunaga, is one of the most determined athletes she's seen.
Sometimes, maybe a little too determined.
"She's doing a great job for us," said Kronforst, "and Kacey is one of the hardest workers I've ever met. She works so hard, actually, that the other day in practice I had to ask her to just take a break, and stretch a little bit."
Tokunaga showed Thursday night, however, how much her due diligence is paying off.
She led the Vikings to an early season dual meet girls gymnastics win at Conant.
Fremd just edged the Cougars 128.60 to 128.25, as Tokunaga won the floor exercise with a score of 9.00, took first as well on the balance beam at 9.35, and was second in the all-around with a mark of 34.25.
"It's all about commitment," said the junior of her stellar career thus far. "When you put in the hard work, it makes it a lot more fun."
Conant senior Mikaela Kaminski (34.95) was victorious in the all-around, and also took first in the uneven parallel bars (8.60)
"Mikaela has been a standout for us in every aspect since freshman year," said Cougars coach Anthony Avella. "She put in a lot of work in the off-season, and this year she's taken on more of a leadership role as well."
Mikaela Kaminski said one of the things she most enjoys is being able to give a little bit of guidance to the younger Conant competitors.
"I do have a bigger leadership position this year," said Kaminski, "but it's also so much fun."
"I'm able to introduce the freshman girls to how everything works, show them good sportsmanship, and how if they're upset with something, to just shake it off and do the best you can -- and cheer on your teammates."
Mikaela's younger sister, sophomore Bri Kaminski, won the vault with an 8.90.
This season has been a big success story for Bri, who broke her knee early last year and missed almost the entire season.
After a long rehab stint, she now says that she's fully recovered and it shows on the floor.
"I think it was more of a mental thing than a physical thing for me," Bri Kaminski said of her recovery and return.
"I've been in this sport my whole life, it means a lot to me and I have to credit my family, who helped me get better."
"I'm proud of the work and dedication she's put in," said Avella of the sophomore. "She's back to where she was last year, and she handled it (the injury) so well, especially being a freshman at the time."
Mikaela Kaminski finished second in the vault and the floor exercise, while teammate Allegra Chapp was runner-up in the uneven parallel bars, and third in the vault.
Tokunaga took third in the bars for Fremd, while sophomore Olivia D'Angelo of the Vikes was second in the balance beam and third overall in the floor exercise.
"It's still early in the season and we're a young team," said Kronforst, "but I feel like the girls are improving every day."