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The Journal Gazette

  • Paige Grider | For The Journal Gazette Homestead's Olivia Cronenwett competes on the uneven bars during the gymnastics state finals at Ball State in Muncie on Saturday. The Spartans finished fifth.

Sunday, March 11, 2018 1:00 am

State gymnastics

Spartans finish 5th, tops of area schools

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

MUNCIE – In the fourth consecutive appearance at the gymnastics state finals, Homestead has worked its way up from the bottom.

The Spartans were the top Fort Wayne-area team in Saturday's competition, finishing in fifth place with a team-score of 109.2. Carroll was seventh (108.373) and Bishop Dwenger eighth (107.5).

“We peaked at the right time,” Homestead junior Catherine Milne said. “We actually looked at the scores and we've had one of the best meets, scorewise, of the year today and that's what got us to that fifth place. We've been working for it so much. We wanted to come out better than we have in the past and we did.”

Homestead was led by junior Yana Weir's fifth-place finish on beam (9.4) and Milne's sixth-place finish on bars (9.55). Milne was seventh in the all-around (37.075), one place off the podium. Weir hadn't competed at the state meet since her freshman year as an injury kept her out of competition during last year's postseason.

She discovered a previous wrist injury over the summer and between the two concerns, her team and coaches helped build strength and confidence.

“It's amazing,” she said. “I can't believe I actually came back strong enough to place at state. I don't know, time went by and before I knew it, we're at state.

“Apparently I'd broke (my wrist) when I was much younger and I didn't know about it which is why it's been so painful. I got wrist guards this year which has helped so much. Coming back, it's really my team that's been the reason why I came back so strong because they've been so supportive and my coaches, obviously, have been great throughout the whole process.”

Senior Olivia Cronenwett competed with the Spartans during the previous three ninth-place finishes at the state meet and was grateful to see it all come together at the right time.

“We told each other to relax and do our own thing instead of being so pressured, especially on beam,” she said. “We still worked hard but we had a fun week (leading up to the meet). It's my last year and ... that's just our tradition. We have fun during practice because we made it to state; we're finally there. We also do work very hard on all the events.

“It feels really great to come out here in my last year ... to hit it and do well today.”

Carroll was led by a 11th place all-around finish by senior Jill Hoffmann (36.45) and Bishop Dwenger by the 15th place finish by Rachel Landstoffer (35.725).

DeKalb's Shiloh Miller was 10th on vault (9.45), Wawasee's Reagan Atwood was 20th on beam (8.9) and 12th on floor (9.45) and Huntington North's Danielle Korporal was 36th on floor (8.9).

Chesterton dominated the competition with a first-place finish in the team scoring (114.4) over runner-up Valparaiso (113.95). The Trojans were led with individual champions in all-around (Sophia Hunzelman, 38.425), beam (Hunzelman, 9.7) and floor (Jordan Bush, 9.825). Columbus East's Adison Minor won the vault (9.725) and bars (9.675).

areichel@jg.net