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State finals
Where: Ball State, Muncie
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Admission: $9
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Bishop Dwenger’s Maria Trahin, along with teammate Katy Linvill, gives Dwenger two competitors in the all-around at the state meet Saturday at Ball State.

Unknown awaits Saints at gym finals

– In the past, Bishop Dwenger knew what was coming. The five-time state champion Saints often get an earlier glimpse at the competition for a state title when they take part in the annual Becky Carter Classic at Concordia.

But because of the snowy and cold weather this winter, the Carter Classic in January was canceled. Meaning teams such as top-ranked Valparaiso are known only on paper, or these days, online.

“It’s always nice to see your competition before the big meets,” Dwenger sophomore Maria Trahin said. “We have been keeping track of their scores online, but we can just hope for the best.”

Of the nine teams competing for a state title Saturday at Ball State, eight are ranked in the top 12 in the state, including the top four teams in No. 1 Valparaiso, No. 2 Dwenger, No. 3 Portage and No. 4 Merrillville.

“We haven’t seen too many of the teams from (northwest Indiana),” Dwenger coach Rose Nix said.

Dwenger won last Friday’s Huntington North Regional with 110.850 points, down from a season-best 112.200 at the Concordia Sectional six days earlier.

“We got out our jitters,” Dwenger senior Katy Linvill said of the regional.

“We did have a couple of mistakes, but it’s better to get them out of the way there than at state. We just need to concentrate on our goal, which is to do our best and not necessarily to win. If we do that, then I know we can win.”

The Saints finished third last year with 110.975 points, behind Portage’s winning score of 112.600. Unlike last year, though, Dwenger has two competitors in the all-around, with Linvill and Trahin. Individual state titles can also be won in the all-around, beam, bars, floor exercise and vault.

“I would definitely like to get an individual title but I am not going to make that my main goal,” Trahin said. “My main goal is to win as a team, but that’s the way gymnastics is, an individual and team sport.

“It will take for all of us to hit those routines like we know we can do and how we do it in practice. We just need to get more comfortable with our routines and just work on cleaning up those little skills and dance moves.”

Linvill was fifth in the all-around last year.

“I have told the newbies that you can’t let that get to you, and you just have to get into your little zone and focus on what you do,” Linvill said of the state meet. “You can’t let the big arena or the big crowd get to you.

“It’s really exciting, especially for the seniors because it is our last week (of practice). It’s very sentimental to us because this is the week we are going all out, and we are trying our best with everything.

“We are trying really hard to get those little toe points we need or get rid of those tenth deductions that we have on some things.”

gjones@jg.net

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