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    The Best of John's Journal: No. 3/ Vaulting Into History: Champlin Park's Chaney Neu

    Entry No. 3 on the list of my 10 favorite John's Journal stories from 2018-19 is all about perfection. The scene was absolutely electric when Champlin Park High School gymnast Chaney Neu made history by recording the first perfect 10 in state meet history. The story was originally posted on February 24.

    Someone attending Saturday nightandapos;s Class 2A gymnastics state championship at the University of Minnesota's Maturi Pavilion had a great seat, just a few steps away from the vault table. That's where athletes sprinted down a runway, leaped onto the vault table with their hands or feet and sailed through the air, flipping and twisting, in the hopes of sticking the landing.

    When something spectacular took place, this attendee started Tweeting about it. The Twitter posts tell the story'

    Standing ovation at #mshsl 2A state gymnastics as Champlin Park sophomore Chaney Neu scores a perfect 10 on the vault. She's the defending all-around state champion.

    THE FIRST PERFECT SCORE IN MEET HISTORY.

    Previous state-meet record score was 9.95 by Courtney Norman (vault) of Cretin-Derham Hall in 1998 and Danielle Pallas (vault) of Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran in 2007.

    Chaney Neu's 10-point vault happened right in front of me and I still don't believe what I saw.

    One of many reasons why gymnastics is so great: After Chaney Neu's incredible vault, coaches FROM OTHER TEAMS screamed and smiled and used both hands to flash TEN fingers. Incredible.

    I swear... sitting next to the vault, it looked like that kid touched the ceiling before landing.

    I've seen game-winning half-court shots, walk-off home runs, overtime touchdowns and lots of other great things. But what Champlin Park's Chaney Neu did on the vault tonight at #mshsl gymnastics tops them all. It was absolutely electric.

    Pretty good night for Champlin Park sophomore Chaney Neu at #mshsl 2A state gymnastics: she became first to score a perfect 10 (vault) and won every other event and her third all-around title. Can you hear the jingle from those 5 gold medals?

    The only other #mshsl gymnast to sweep all four events and the all-around was Bonnie Berning of Burnsville in 1975. That was the first year of the state tournament and it was a one-class event.


    It was spectacular, remarkable, stunning, astounding ' use any word you like.

    andquot;It was electric,' said Champlin Park coach Jon Wynia. 'You could feel it in your body.'

    Chaney is just a sophomore and she already owns three all-around state championships. After the competition ended Saturday night, she posed for photos for just about everyone who wanted one ' including the vault judges. The judges even gave her the pennant-shaped green flag that is used to signal the next vaulter that she can begin her sprint to the vault table.

    Neu's 10-point vault is known as a Yurchenko Layout; it's named after Soviet gymnast Natalia Yurchenko. Gymnasts making the attempt sprint down the runway, perform a round-off back handspring entry onto the vault table, and then do a series of twists and flips before landing.

    Chaney knew it was good. Upon landing, she threw her arms up, put her head back and smiled the biggest smile you've ever seen. She hugged Wynia and high-fived everyone she ran past.

    'I was like, 'It's probably gonna be a 9.9 or a 10,' ' she said. 'And when I saw three of the scores, I'm like, 'Please be a 10, please be a 10.' And then the fourth one was a 10 and I was super happy.

    'I've been working on sticking them all year, because I figured if I stuck it at state that I'd earn a 10. I'm just happy that all my hard work in the gym has paid off.'

    She also won the balance beam, floor exercise and uneven bars. Her all-around score of 39.10 was the first 39 of her career. The state-meet record is 39.325, set by Stephanie Benson of Eagan in 1999.

    Chaney's gold medal in floor exercise was her third; she also won the vault in 2017. Her golds on beam and floor exercise were her first in those events at state.

    'Any time anyone does something amazing, you're still surprised, right?' Wynia said. 'I told her going into this that she was going to break 39 and I was hoping that would be with a 10 but I would have taken a 9.95 or a 9.975. She's been incredible this whole season.'

    Yes, incredible. That works, too.

    --Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, download 'Preps Today with John Millea' on your favorite podcast app and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.




    John Millea | jmillea@mshsl.org | John's Journal