Senior leads ailing Eagles

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 10, 2012 - 12:33 AM

Mackenzie Dent, Eden Prairie gymnastics

As a club gymnast for 12 years prior to last year, Dent rarely had to worry about the performance of others.

But after making the switch to high school gymnastics, Dent has found that representing a team can be as rewarding as individual achievement.

With three of the Eagles' top gymnasts injured, Dent elevated her performance at the Roseville Invitational on Saturday, winning the all-around competition with a score of 38.05.

The individual highlight of the meet, Dent said, was her score of 9.8 while performing a Yurchenko layout vault. It was just .1 short of her career best in the event, which came at the Class 2A, Section 6 meet in 2011.

"It's makes me feel good because I know that I can improve on it," she said.

But the driving factor for her big day was leadership. Dent, the only senior on her team's shorthanded roster, knew that she had to be at her best. Eden Prairie finished eighth in the 16-team meet, a top-half finish that would not have been possible without her focus.

"I knew that I would have to step up with the other girls out," she said. "When we get the other girls back, I think we'll be pretty good. But right now, it's just up to me to lead the team and try to cover for the girls that aren't here."

With three of Eden Prairie's top gymnasts out because of injuries, Mackenzie Dent elevated her performance to become the Star Tribune Athlete of the Week. Here's a look at all of this week's selections:

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