NOBLESVILLE — Carroll senior Ashelynn Steinke was looking for a bit of vindication.
“I bombed last year at state,” Steinke said. “I fell in my first event, three times on beam I fell. It definitely stuck with me and never wanted to do that again. I dreaded that ever happening again.”
No worries, Steinke hit all her routines in capturing the state all-around championship Saturday at the IHSAA Gymnastics State Finals at Noblesville High School.
“This will be with me forever,” Steinke said of her joy of winning the title over Chesterton senior Jordan Bush 38.125 to 38.100.
Steinke’s performance helped the Chargers to a second-place finish in the state team competition.
“We did amazing (Saturday),” Steinke said.
Top-ranked Chesterton won for the second consecutive year with a score of 113.875 points. Carroll, which was ranked sixth in the final coaches' poll, placed second with 110.975, edging out Lake Central with 110.175.
“Ashelynn just went out there and hit her routines,” Carroll coach Rosemary Scheele said.
Scheele said the team didn’t tell Steinke she had won so the announcement would be a surprise
“I had no idea. I didn’t pay attention to anyone else’s scores,” Steinke said. “I was actually shooting for fourth, so this was kind of big.”
A relaxed attitude was the key.
“I was looking at it as my last meet and just go big,” Steinke said. “I didn’t have anything to lose. It was just me having fun now was and show what I could give and I did. It was probably the best meet since I started high school gymnastics.”
Steinke competed in club gymnastics until her junior year. She said she felt more relaxed competing in high school meets.
“It was more fun, that’s what I was going for — club was just too stressful for me,” Steinke said.
Steinke finished second in the beam competition (9.575), tied for third in floor (9.575), fifth in bars (9.475) and in a tie for 10th in the vault (9.500).
“We just knew we could go out and perform and do our best routines,” Scheele said. “We knew we had enough skills as long as we hit our routines that we could shoot for the final four. We were little surprised we got second. Everybody came together as a team. Everyone did their job and we ended up in second which is awesome. We didn’t feel pressure. We just said let us be us.”
Chargers junior Ella Smith placed sixth on the beam (9.325).
Homestead was sixth in the nine-team team standings with a score of 107.500 and Angola was seventh with 106.100.
Homestead senior Catherine Milne just missed a podium finish by placing seventh in the all-around (37.025). She did reach the podium by finishing fourth on the bars (9.550) and fifth on floor (9.550). Milne had edged Steinke for the regional all-around title.
On the vault, Wayne junior Erica Xayarath finished in a second-place tie with Harrison’s Haiven Gipson with a score of 9.650.
DeKalb senior Shiloh Miller placed second on the floor with a score of 9.600. Chesterton’s Jordan Bush won with 9.725.
“I was very happy with my outcome,” Miller said. “I feel like it was definitely my best routine of my gymnastics career of 15 years. I got off the floor and I felt that was a really good meet to end on. I had a good start, kind of got rough in the middle, but came out with second place. It was fun. I’m glad I went out the way I did.”
That was her first podium finish in state and the highest finish for a DeKalb gymnast. Miller placed 21st in the all around in what she said will be her final gymnastics meet.
“This is the end. It’s sad, but I have to work on my body,” Miller said. “Fifteen years of gymnastics was a lot of wear and tear.”