Ray Cooney | For The Journal Gazette Bishop Dwenger’s Amy Weilbaker twists in the air during her floor exercise routine Saturday at the state gymnastics meet. Her routine earned a 9.5 for her second runner-up finish. She was also second on the vault.
Ray Cooney | For The Journal Gazette Chalk flies as Catherine Milne of Homestead releases from the high bar for her dismount at the state gymnastics meet. She placed fifth.
Saturday, March 11, 2017 10:00 pm
Dwenger places 4th in tight race
Aubree Reichel | The Journal Gazette
MUNCIE – The top four teams were separated by a mere 0.5 point at the state gymnastics championships at Ball State’s Worthen Arena on Saturday.
Valparaiso won its state-leading 12th state championship, 112.375 to 112.075 over Columbus North. Chesterton was third (112.050) and Bishop Dwenger fourth (111.875).
"It’s down to the wire," Saints coach Rose Nix said. "There’s been years we’ve been down here and one team just dominates and wins by two or three points. The meets like this are exciting. It’s good for the sport, but it’s also exciting because you know you have to be on top of your game to win or even place."
The Saints were propelled by a pair of runner-up finishes from senior Amy Weilbaker on vault (9.65) and floor (9.5).
"It’s really big," Weilbaker said. "It’s a big honor for me personally just that coming this far and having the chance to perform at the state level, that meant a lot to me.
"(My performance in the first rotation on vault) kind of got the momentum going and then the rest of the events, we could use that as a base and keep the team together through it."
The Saints also had podium finishes from freshman Rachel Landstoffer on beam (fifth, 9.275) and Elaine Cornewell on floor (fourth, 9.45).
Cornewell was the highest area finisher in the all-around in eighth (37.025).
"At the beginning of the year, we said this team didn’t have a superstar," Nix said. "Everybody played a role and if you see the placings: Elaine placed, Rachel placed and Amy placed. It was definitely a team effort, which is definitely good for us in the future, too."
Homestead’s Catherine Milne had a first-rotation mishap on floor but bounced back with podium finishes on vault (tied for sixth, 9.5) and bars (fifth, 9.575). She finished ninth all-around (36.875) despite the 8.6 score on floor.
"I started floor and it was a little rough," Milne said. "I had a weird landing on one of my passes, but I was really happy because I got back on that landing and had a great rest of that routine and that carried through the rest of the meet. Overall, I think I did really well.
"I was so happy (about the podium finish on bars). That made my day. That was my goal because bars is my thing. I wasn’t sure about vault, but if I stuck it I knew it would be good."
Concordia’s E’Lycia Early finished third on vault (9.625), and Carroll’s McKinley Carroll tied for sixth on vault (9.5).
The Chargers finished fifth (109.4) and Homestead ninth (105.9).
"I feel great," Carroll coach Rosemary Scheele said of the team’s finish. "I think the girls came in, they performed well, they didn’t let the state pressure get to them. We stayed within our own team. We had little mistakes here and there but just great. Fifth place out of nine, I’m really happy with it.
"We also had McKinley be able to place on vault and that was nice. I’m very proud of all of them."
DeKalb’s Shiloh Miller was 20th on vault (9.3) and Wawasee’s Reagan Atwood was 20th on floor (9.125).
Columbus North’s Ashley Holiday won the mental attitude award. Holiday won vault (9.75), teammate Claire Thompson won beam (9.775), Columbus East’s Adison Minor tied for first with Chesterton freshman Sophia Hunzelman to win bars (9.65), Valparaiso’s Rachel Moneta won floor (9.55) and Hunzelman won all-around (38.2).