Chesterton Tribune



CHS Gymnasts claim 4th straight Sectional title

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It was a position Chesterton's gymnastics team hasn't experienced much.

Through one rotation of Saturday's Chesterton Sectional, the Trojans found themselves trailing Lake Central by 1.15 points.

Coach Dawn Matthys didn't feel the need to call an impromptu meeting, the girls took care of that themselves.

"When we got to vault, the girls kind of huddled together," Matthys said. "I didn't listen in. I was at the other end. They were cheering, laughing and screaming. They helped each other. They took it on themselves and did great. They showed teamwork and personality."

It didn't take Chesterton long to close the gap. It moved within 0.15 after vault, nudged in front by 0.45 following uneven bars and closed out the 113.775-113.15 victory on balance beam to garner its fourth straight title.

"We always say we do better when we have more fun so we were just hyping ourselves up to try to get the adrenaline rushing," all-around champion Sophia Hunzelman said. "We knew we could rally on the other three events, we're so solid on vault and bars. We're usually pretty even between floor, bars and vault. If we hit four solid routines, it could be on any event that we score the highest. We try not to stress too much about it. You just have to hope that you did your best."

Even though L.C. followed Chesterton on the same events, neither Matthys nor Hunzelman professed to scoreboard watching, preferring to focus on what they can control.

"We like good competition," Matthys said. "(Coach) Karen (Barcelli)'s doing great things with (Lake Central) and I like watching them perform. You never really know what gymnasts are going to hit on what day. Once we finished our last event, I took a little walk, took a breather. I can't do anything at that point. Even when I come to a meet, we've done everything we can do at practice. We've given them all the technique and direction, how to fix it, then you just come to the meet and hope for the best. We had a little bumpy start on floor, which is OK because it bonded my kids. The girls rallied together, they pulled themselves up and they were so determined and strong the rest of the meet. I couldn't be more proud."

Chesterton's 28.9 on bars was the highest event score of the meet, as was its 28.775 on vault and 28.325 on beam.

"Just stay the course," Matthys said. "I give all the credit to the girls. I can tweak a routine, fix a skill, change choreography to make it high school worthy, but ultimately their talent is what leads us."

Hunzelman tied Merrillville's Briana Thomas for first on beam with a 9.55 and posted seconds on bars (9.775) and floor (9.675) to claim the all-around (38.425) by 0.2 over L.C.'s Cloe Amanatidis.

"Sophie's always strong," Matthys said. "She's amazing. She doesn't get rattled. She stays very calm. She's a great leader on the team. I can't say anything other than great."

"I definitely didn't have my best beam routine," Hunzelman said. "It was a little iffy. I missed my foot on my dismount, but my body somehow managed to land on my feet. I don't know how it happened. It wasn't too significant in the judges' eyes. I probably had my best bars routine this season."

The Trojans went three-four on vault with Caitlyn Cook and Mia Pak tying at 9.675. Pak was third on bars (9.7) and Cook tied for fourth on beam (9.5). Cook placed fifth all-around (37.7), followed by Pak (37.5).

"Almost every single girl on this team has been doing gymnastics since they could walk," Matthys said. "This isn't something they just picked up five minutes ago. Their dedication, their love, their passion for their sport helps everything fit together."

Chesterton Sectional

Team Results

1. CHESTERTON 113.775, 2. LAKE CENTRAL 113.15, 3. VALPARAISO 111.5, 4. PORTAGE 110.9, 5. CROWN POINT 109.225, 6. MERRILLVILLE 104.6, 7. HOBART 98.5, 8. LAPORTE 97.0, 9. MICHIGAN CITY 94.0, 10. LOWELL 90.525.

Individual Results

VAULT -- 1. Makenna King (South Central) 9.825, 2. Bobbie Russell (P) 9.8, 3. (tie) Caitlyn Cook (C) and Mia Pak (C) 9.675, 5. Gianna Witte (CP) 9.575, 6. Lexyss Malamatos (V) 9.475, 7. Sophia Hunzelman (C) 9.425, 14. Belle Marchetti (C) 9.15.

BARS -- 1. King (SC) 9.85, 2. Hunzelman (C) 9.775, 3. Mia Pak (C) 9.7, 4. Cloe Amanatidis (LC) 9.575, 5. Russell (P) 9.525, 6. Sarah Mella (LC) 9.475, 7. Abby Winland (C) 9.425, 10. Cook (C) 9.275.

BEAM -- 1. (tie) Briana Thomas (M) and Hunzelman (C) 9.55, 3. Russell (P) 9.525, 4. (tie) Payton Peele (P), Cook (C) and Amanatidis (LC) 9.5, 9. Pak (C) 9.275, 14. Marchetti (C) 9.05.

FLOOR -- 1. Amanatidis (LC) 9.75, 2. Hunzelman (C) 9.675, 3. Madeline Bugg (LC) 9.65, 4. Sabrina Falk (V) 9.6, 5. Sydney Black (LC) 9.525, 6. (tie) Mells (LC), Malamatos (V) and Thomas (M) 9.5, 14. Cook (C) 9.25, 23. Pak (C) 8.85, 30. Alyssa Donovan (C) 8.475.

ALL-AROUND -- 1. Hunzelman (C) 38.425, 2. Amanatidis (LC) 38.225, 3. King (SC) 37.9, 4. Russell (LC) 37.75, 5. Cook (C) 37.7, 6. Pak (C) 37.5.



Posted 3/2/2020




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