They walked in with
small crowns on their heads, but walked out with the biggest crown of all.
gymnastics team amassed 114.4 point to win the school’s fourth IHSAA State
Championship on Saturday at Worthen Arena on the campus of Ball State
champion Valparaiso was second (113.95) and Columbus North (110.40) finished
“We felt like even
on our bad days, we were still doing well,” Chesterton head coach Dawn
Matthys said. “We came in calm and had fun today. We were laughing and
giggling. The girls were singing in between events. There were no nerves.
The girls have been positive, working hard and staying fun.
“We have not
stressed or worried. We just did us. We’ve gained a lot of confidence
throughout the year and decided to have fun. We’ve enjoyed the whole day.”
One year after
finishing third and just .325 from the top spot, the Trojans had plenty of
energy heading into Saturday’s event.
“The last couple
years we’ve been sick with nerves,” Matthys said. “Last year gave us a lot
of fuel for this. Being close last year and knowing one little toe point
could have been the difference. We knew we just had to be us today.
Everybody has to catch us.”
The Trojans got off
to a hot start in the day’s first rotation, the floor.
Troup led of with a 9.275 and freshman Mia Pak followed with a 9.425.
Eventual All-Around champion, sophomore Sophie Hunzelman, added a 9.60
before junior Jordan Bush brought the house down with a 9.825.
Bush’s score not
only won her the event title, but was the highest score given in any event
“We have a
confident junior that does such a great job of leading our team,” Matthys
said. “She came out hitting really big. Her floor was amazing and I know it
was the best one in the State. Her score held up all day. When she hit that
score, it was like ‘ok. This is where we start. Let’s just grow from here’.”
Things kept moving
in the second rotation, the vault, where junior Lexi Avey started things
with a 9.50.
“Lexi was excited,”
Matthys said. “Her first vault wasn’t great, but there was some cheering
going on and she got really determined to hit the second one. She went down
there and stuck it. It was beautiful.”
with another 9.5 before Bush (9.7) and Pak (9.625) finished things off.
“We added a
freshman to the ranks that has a lot of skills and really helped raise the
bar for us,” Matthys said. “I think Mia had a little freshman jitters early
on, but I’m proud of her. She’s a powerful, hard-working, great girl. She
has lots of potential to grow even more and I really look forward to
watching what she does in the next few years.”
separated themselves from the Vikings in the third rotation, the bars. Troup
again started Chesterton with a 9.15 and Bush added 9.575.
“Brittney led us
off on both the floor and bars and she’s competed in those events the last
three years we’ve been here,” Matthys said. “It’s wonderful to have that
senior leadership like that and that can’t be overlooked.”
Hunzelman and Pak
finished the rotation by tying for second overall in the event with a score
9.625 and giving the Trojans a .725 lead in the team score.
“We didn’t push as
hard in practice toward the end of the season,” Matthys said. “That was the
biggest difference. We did enough and not too much. We didn’t have to gain
skills in the post-season this year.
“We already had
them and it was just polishing up the little things.”
Alyssa Donovan got
the final rotation on beam started with a 9.25, setting the Trojans up for
the team title.
redemption for all the falls she had on beam last year and she got it,”
Matthys said. “Her routine to start that last rotation for us was huge.”
Hunzelman put the
final touches on the team title and her all-around title with a 9.70 score
that tied Valpo’s Whitney McKeon for the event title.
calmest kid on the team,” Matthys said. “She just stays the course. She
stood behind Jordan and Mia early in the year in all-around, but she’s a
sophomore. Sophomore’s always struggle a little bit finding their footing.
Sectionals she turned it on and has been so solid in the post-season. I’m
very proud of Sophie.”
just the second gymnast to capture the all-around title in her first two
years, joining Valparaiso’s Angie Cook (1993, 1994).
As a team, the
Trojans score of 114.4 was the second most points ever scored at the State
Finals (Columbus North, 114.85, 2016) and was the school’s fourth title, the
first since 2002.
“It’s a really big
deal to do something like this for your school. These girls that do
gymnastics in club do what they do for themselves. Being a part of a team
and winning this for their school, that’s so much more meaningful.”
AT WORTHEN ARENA
114.40; 2. Valparaiso, 113.95; 3. Columbus North, 110.40; 4. Columbus East,
109.70; 5. Homestead, 109.20; 6. Portage, 108.425; 7. FW Carroll, 108.375;
8. FW Bishop Dwenger, 107.50; 9. Seymour, 102.625.
Vault -- 1. Adison
Minor (Columbus East), 9.725; 2. Jordan Bush (Chesterton), 9.70; 3. Mia Pak
(Chesterton), 9.625; 4. Claire Thompson (Columbus North), 9.60; 5. Emma
Taylor (McCutcheon), 9.525; 6. (tie) Sophie Hunzelman (Chesterton), Lexi
Avey (Chesterton) and Whitney McKeon (Valparaiso), 9.50.
Bars -- 1. Adison
Minor (Columbus East), 9.675; 2. (tie) Mia Pak (Chesterton) and Sophie
Hunzelman (Chesterton), 9.625; 4. (tie) Jordan Bush (Chesterton) and Jenna
Algozine (Valparaiso), 9.575; 6. (tie) Claire Thompson (Columbus North) and
Catherine Milne (Homestead), 9.55; 13. Brittney Troup (Chesterton), 9.15.
Beam -- 1. (tie)
Sophie Hunzelman (Chesterton) and Whitney McKeon (Valparaiso), 9.70; 3.
(tie) Claire Thompson (Columbus North) and Jenna Algozine (Valparaiso),
9.475; 5. Yana Weir (Homestead), 9.40; 6. Megan Wagenblast (Valparaiso0,
9.375; 8. Alyssa Donovan (Chesterton), 9.25; 17. Jordan Bush (Chesterton),
8.95; 18. Mia Pak (Chesterton), 8.925.
Floor -- 1. Jordan
Bush (Chesterton), 9.825; 2. Elisabeth Wilson (Valparaiso), 9.70; 3. Rachel
Moneta (Valparaiso), 9.675; 4. Adison Minor (Columbus East), 9.65; 5.
Whitney McKeon (Valparaiso), 9.635; 6. Sophie Hunzelman (Chesterton), 9.60;
9. Mia Pak (Chesterton), 9.425; 25. Brittney Troup (Chesterton), 9.275.
All-Around -- 1.
Sophie Hunzelman (Chesterton), 38.425; 2. (tie) Claire Thompson (Columbus
North) and Adison Minor (Columbus East), 38.150; 4. Jordan Bush
(Chesterton), 38.05; 5. Whitney McKeon (Valparaiso), 37.75; 6. Mia Pak