Chesterton Tribune



No. 1 ranked Chesterton Gymnasts win IHSAA Regional title

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For the last week, coach Dawn Matthys and her team had a clear objective.

“We were on a mission,” she said. “After making a few mistakes last week, we worked really hard on our floor routines. And every one of our girls was stellar.”

Starting off on floor at Saturday’s Portage Regional, all four Trojans nailed their routines and the team’s success snowballed from there, as Chesterton rolled to its fourth straight regional title with 114.950 points, well ahead of second-place Lake Central (113.225) and third-place Valparaiso (112.050).

It all traced back to that opening rotation on floor, though, which started with senior Alyssa Donovan scoring a 9.5. Donovan said the extra time devoted to that event at practice was vital to her performance.

“Our coaches would run around the floor with us at the key points, telling us what we needed to do,” Donovan said. “We worked so hard this week and it meant a lot to show out on floor.”

Sophomore Caitlyn Cook added a 9.6 and junior Mia Pak scored a 9.75 on floor, meaning that senior Sophie Hunzelman felt minimal pressure when she went as the Trojans’ final performer in that event.

“Everybody before me scored super high, so they set me up to get a high score as well,” Hunzelman said. “Even if I fell three times, I still had my team to fall back on.”

Hunzelman didn’t fall once, though, scoring a 9.8 that was the second-best floor score of the meet. Hunzelman added a third-place score of 9.7 on beam and won on bars with a 9.75 as part of her all-around score of 38.475 that finished in a tie for third place. Cook ended up fifth in the all-around at 37.725.

"I was focusing on the team more than myself (on Saturday)," Cook said. "When I'm thinking about the team, it makes me do better, because I'd rather us win as a team than win by myself."

Pak was the top all-around scorer for Chesterton, tallying 38.7 points to finish as the runner-up to meet champion Makenna King of South Central (39.125).

It was a redemptive performance for Pak, who fell shy of her own lofty standards with a sixth-place all-around score of 37.5 at the sectional meet. Like several of her teammates, Pak said the strong start on floor helped set the stage for everything else that happened at Saturday’s meet.

“Floor is one of my weaker events, so that really boosted my confidence,” Pak said. “Last week, I had a little bump on floor, so I just wanted to hit that one pass and, after I did, it was all clean.”

Pak finished third on vault (9.6) for the second straight week and was runner-up to Hunzelman on bars (9.7).

“It’s been difficult because I’m so hard on myself,” Pak said. “When I do fall, I get really upset. I just wanted to do the best I could for my team and for myself. Hitting everything made me so happy.”

IHSAA Regional


Team Results

1. Chesterton, 114.95; 2. Lake Central, 113.225; 3. Valparaiso, 112.05; 4. West Lafayette Harrison, 108.20; 5. Logansport, 105.525; 6. Northwestern, 103.40.

Individual Results

Vault -- 1. Makenna King (South Central), 9.90; 2. Haven Gipson (WLH), 9.70; 3. Mia Pak ©, 9.675; 4. Lexyss Malamatos (V), 9.60; 5. (tie) Caitlyn Cook © and Jade VerSchure (V), 9.60.

Bars -- 1. Sophie Hunzelman ©, 9.75; 2. Mia Pak ©, 9.70; 3. Makenna King (South Central), 9.575; 4. Cloe Amanatidis (LC), 9.425; 5. Bobbie Russell (P), 9.325; 6. Abby Winland ©, 9.275.

Beam -- 1. Makenna King (South Central), 9.80; 2. Cloe Amanatidis (LC), 9.75; 3. Sophie Hunzelman ©, 9.70; 4. (tie) Mia Pak © and Catie Smith (N), 9.575; 6. Gabriella Grisafi (V), 9.50.

Floor -- 1. Makenna King (South Central), 9.85; 2. Sophie Hunzelman ©, 9.80; 3. Cloe Amanatidis (LC), 9.775; 4. Mia Pak ©, 9.75; 5. Julie-Ann Stephany (Lafayette Jeff), 9.70; 6. (tie) Kendal Wilkinson (Logansport), Briana Thomas (Merrillville) and Haven Gipson (WLH), 9.675.

All-Around -- 1. Makenna King (South Central), 39.125; 2. Mia Pak ©, 38.70; 3. (tie) Cloe Amanatidis (LC) and Sophie Hunzelman ©, 38.475; 5. Caitlyn Cook ©, 37.725; 6. Gabrilla Grisafi (V), 37.575.



Posted 3/9/2020




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