In her first shot
under the bright lights, Chesterton gymnast Sophie Hunzelman shined even
The freshman star
was the all-around state champion scoring a 38.2 at Saturday’s state meet at
Ball State's Worthen Arena. She tied for first on bars, took runner-up on
beam, and placed fourth on vault in leading the Trojans to a third-place
“I’m very proud of
her,” Chesterton coach Dawn Matthys said. “She was stellar in every event.
Everything just fell into place for her (Saturday). She’s such a calm, cool
and collected little girl that she just handles it all in stride.”
her 9.5 season high on vault with a 9.6. Her floor routine scored a 9.3,
following a music issue in her first routine that allowed her a do-over. On
bars, Hunzelman scored a 9.65, just missing her season-high of 9.675. She
was the lone Trojan to stay on beam, scoring a 9.55.
“After our shaky
start on beam, she came through with a beautiful routine for us,” Matthys
said. “That was her best vault all season and she performed beautifully on
floor after she got to re-do it. She topped her day off on bars and I just
couldn’t have asked for a better day from Sophie.”
One of the top
gymnasts in the state all-season, the thought of all-around champ floated
around in Hunzelman’s mind. However, it was something she wasn’t necessarily
“Of course it was
in the back of my mind,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it, but I wanted it.
I didn’t think I was going to get it because there are just so many other
really good gymnasts out there. My dad had heard it floating around in the
crowd that I was third, so when I heard I won, I was definitely really
“I just wanted to
hit all my events, make everything clean and do my best.”
out her beam and bars routines, her first and last events, as the most
important events of the day for her.
“Our team started
off a little rocky there so I knew I had to stay on beam. I did that for my
team,” she said. “Being a freshman, being at my first state meet and having
to start on beam; that was nerve-wracking. I told myself ‘you’ve done this
routine 1,000 times, you know what to do.’ My teammates helped me a lot
(Saturday) calming me down and giving me pep talks.
“After I got a 9.6
on vault, I knew I had one more event and I was doing well so at that point,
I was just hoping to make a clean bar routine. I knew what I had done and
what I needed to do.”
As a team,
Chesterton improved upon last year’s fifth place finish as it came home with
a third place medal. Duneland Conference foe Valparaiso claimed its 12th
state title and its third in the last four years.
between Valpo and Chesterton was .325 of a point. The Trojans scored a 28.25
on vault, 28.075 on floor and ended the meet on bars with its top score of
the day, 28.6.
Beam was the lowest
event total for Chesterton, with a 27.125.
“For a team that’s
done so well on beam all year long, starting there should have been a little
cleaner,” Matthys said. “I think the girls were just a little nervous
because we’re usually really solid there and then Sophie ended up being the
only one that stayed on. Losing by .325, that’s one fall. We needed one more
girl to stay on beam and we take the meet
great confidence going forward though. Our only upperclassman was Brittney
Troup, so there's still a lot of promise for the future.”
Also standing out
for Chesterton was sophomore Jordan Bush, who battled back from her and her
team’s rocky start on beam to grab a sixth place medal in the all-around.
“We did as much as
we could after beam,” Bush said. “After beam, Dawn looked at me and told me
to get my team together and I tried to do that as much as I could.
Considering where we started and seeing where we finished, it’s actually
Bush also tied for
sixth on floor.
“Jordan fought very
hard all day,” Matthys said. “She was hoping for better on floor, but I
thought her routine was beautiful because she was clean, executed well. Her
tumbling was really high and she landed clean. She was beautiful on bars and
vault, too. Jordan had a great day.”
IHSAA State Finals
AT BALL STATE
112.375; 2. Columbus North, 112.075; 3. Chesterton, 112.05; 4. FW Bishop
Dwenger, 111.875; 5. Carroll, 109.40; 6. Columbus East, 109.375; 7.
Bloomington South, 108.55; 8. Merrillville, 106.45; 9. Homestead, 105.90.
All-Around -- 1.
Sophie Hunzelman (Chesterton), 38.20; 2. Claire Thompson (Columbus North),
38.075; 3. Ashley Holliday (Columbus North), 37.60; 4. Whitney McKeon (Valpo),
37.575; 5. Rachel Moneta (Valpo), 37.425; 6. Jordan Bush (Chesterton),
Vault -- 1. Ashley
Holliday (Columbus North), 9.75; 2. Amy Weilbaker (FW Bishop Dwenger), 9.65;
3. E’Lycia Early (FW Concordia Lutheran), 9.625; 4. Sophie Hunzelman
(Chesterton), 9.60; 5. Kaylee Eurton (Bloomington South), 9.575; 6.
Catherine Milne (Homestead), 9.50; 11. Jordan Bush (Chesterton), 9.40; 25.
Lexi Avey (Chesterton), 9.25; 37. Hailee Ellenwood (Chesterton), 8.625.
Bars -- 1. (tie)
Sophie Hunzelman (Chesterton) and Adison Minor (Columbus East), 9.65; 3.
(tie) Jenna Algozine (Valpo) and Claire Thompson (Columbus North), 9.625; 5.
Catherine Milne (Homestead), 9.575; 6. Heather Osorio (Merrillville), 9.55;
7. Jordan Bush (Chesterton), 9.525; 10. Lexi Avey (Chesterton), 9.425; 19.
Brittney Troup (Chesterton), 9.225.
Beam -- 1. Claire
Thompson (Columbus North), 9.775; 2. Sophie Hunzelman (Chesterton), 9.55; 3.
(tie) Whitney McKeon (Valpo) and Adison Minor (Columbus East), 9.325; 5.
Rachel Landstoffer (FW Bishop Dwenger), 9.275; 6. (tie) Khloe Dykes
(Franklin Central), Seena Greiwe (Columbus East) and Abigail Lewis (Columbus
East), 9.225; 21. Jordan Bush (Chesterton), 8.95; 28. Lexi Avey
(Chesterton), 8.625; 40. Alyssa Donovan (Chesterton), 7.80.
Floor -- 1. Rachel
Moneta (Valpo), 9.55; 2. Amy Weilbaker (FW Bishop Dwenger), 9.50; 3. Jenna
Algozine (Valpo), 9.475; 4. (tie) Jordan Bush (Chesterton), Emma Taylor
(McCutcheon) and Elaine Cornewell (FW Bishop Dwenger), 9.45; 13. Sophie
Hunzelman (Chesterton), 9.30; 17. Alyssa Donovan (Chesterton), 9.225; 36.
Baylie Lawson (Chesterton), 8.675.