CHANEY NEU

Champlin Park gymnastics

Prep athletes of the week: Perfection, then all-around focus for Champlin Park's Chaney Neu

One of the reasons Neu, barely 5 feet tall, routinely dwarfs other gymnasts she competes against is her ability to shut out distractions and concentrate on the task at hand.

That much was clear as the sophomore pursued her third consecutive Class 2A all-around championship Saturday at the gymnastics state meet.

In her second event of the meet, she set the University of Minnesota Maturi Pavilion abuzz when she was awarded a perfect 10.0 on the vault. Her Yurchenko layout was flawless, the judges rewarded her accordingly and the arena came alive with a standing ovation.

In a perfect world, her night would have ended right there, with Neu basking in the glow of being the first gymnast in state meet history to score a 10 on any single event.

“I wished [the meet] would have ended on vault,” Neu said.

But it didn’t. She still had two events left. She had to wait to enjoy her historic moment until after the meet was over.

Neu never wavered. She went on to win both the balance beam and the uneven bars, giving her a sweep of all four events to take the all-around championship with a score of 39.1.

“It was such a high after that second event,” Neu said. “I just had to remember to stay focused on my other events.”

DAJUAN CARTER

North St. Paul basketball

Prep athletes of the week: Perfection, then all-around focus for Champlin Park's Chaney Neu

The 6-foot senior guard had his most impressive outing in a season full of them, leading the Polars to a 95-63 victory over South St. Paul. Carter had a career-high 51 points, the seventh time this year he’s topped 30 points.

BELLA FRATTALONE

Mahtomedi gymnastics

Prep athletes of the week: Perfection, then all-around focus for Champlin Park's Chaney Neu

The junior outdueled Detroit Lakes senior Cora Okeson to win the Class 1A all-around state championship. Needing a 9.65 on the final event of the meet — the uneven parallel bars — to tie, Frattalone scored a 9.7 for a winning score of 38.65.

SAM KENNEDY

Wayzata swimming

Prep athletes of the week: Perfection, then all-around focus for Champlin Park's Chaney Neu

The senior and future University of Minnesota swimmer had four first-place finishes — the 200 medley relay, the 100 butterfly, the 100 backstroke and the 400 freestyle relay — at the Class 2A, Section 5 meet. All four victories were meet-record times.

OLIVIA MOBLEY

Breck • hockey

Prep athletes of the week: Perfection, then all-around focus for Champlin Park's Chaney Neu

In the Class 1A state tournament, the junior forward had a goal in the quarterfinals, a hat trick and an assist in the semifinals, and a key third-period tally to give the Mustangs a two-goal lead in a 6-1 victory over Warroad in the championship game.

EZAYAH OROPEZA

Rosemount wrestling

Prep athletes of the week: Perfection, then all-around focus for Champlin Park's Chaney Neu

The senior 220-pounder remained undefeated for the season by taking first at his weight in the Class 3A, Section 2 meet. Oropeza pinned Shakopee’s Tommy Johnson at 1:47 of the first period to improve to 38-0.

OLIVIA SWAIM

Edina • hockey

Prep athletes of the week: Perfection, then all-around focus for Champlin Park's Chaney Neu

The senior forward scored the Hornets’ biggest goal of the season, knocking in a rebound at 2:20 of the second overtime period to give Edina a 4-3 victory over Brainerd/Little Falls in the Class 2A championship game.

JIM PAULSEN

Nominate an athlete: Send an e-mail with supporting information to preps@startribune.com. Include a photo and video, if available.

 

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