Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Trojan Gymnasts win 4th State Championship

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By TR HARLAN

They walked in with small crowns on their heads, but walked out with the biggest crown of all.

The Chesterton 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 University.

Defending state champion Valparaiso was second (113.95) and Columbus North (110.40) finished third.

“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.

Senior Brittney 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 all day.

“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.”

Hunzelman followed 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.”

The Trojans 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.

“Alyssa wanted 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.

“Sophie’s the 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.

“Right before Sectionals she turned it on and has been so solid in the post-season. I’m very proud of Sophie.”

Hunzelman became 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.”

IHSAA State Finals

AT WORTHEN ARENA (BALL STATE)

Team Results

1. Chesterton, 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.

Individual Results

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 (Chesterton), 37.60.

 

Posted 3/12/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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