Prep gymnastics

Valparaiso gymnasts win 12th straight Viking Invitational

2013-01-12T17:00:00Z 2013-01-24T19:28:27Z Valparaiso gymnasts win 12th straight Viking InvitationalJim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com
January 12, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | Valparaiso senior gymnast Hannah Erwin wanted to make her final appearance at the Saturday Viking Invitational a memorable one.

"It was very important to have a good career-ender," said Erwin, who won all-around (37.35) and bars (9.6). "It made me feel pretty good."

Erwin's performance also lifted the Times No. 1 Vikings to their 12th consecutive crown.

Valparaiso scored 110.55, the lone team to dent the century mark. The Vikings have won 22 of the 23 team crowns.

Erwin's bar score was a tenth from a personal best, and second to Hamilton's Alex Cool as the day's best score (9.625 on vault).

Erwin was also second on beam (9.225), floor (9.175) and vault (9.35).

"She's very consistent; that's a distinctive trait," Valparaiso coach Lorie Cook said. "That's great to see."

Erwin's effort was an integral piece to the team's success. Defending state all-around champion Morgan Algozine didn't compete on vault, forcing the team to pick up the slack.

"Morgan is not one of our top-four in the vault," Cook said of Algozine, who won floor (9.575) and was second on bars (9.275). "When she is, she'll be back in there.

"We had other girls step up."

The Vikings took the top four spots on floor as Emily Crosmer was third (9.125) and Lia Milroy fourth (9.0). On vault, Caroline Miller was third (9.3) and Rushelle Miller fourth (9.2).

"We didn't hit everything, but that was also because we were being aggressive," Cook said. "I''d rather be aggressive than not try to go for things."

Boone Grove's Valerie Strickland placed fourth in all-around (34.075). Coach Holly Strickland was impressed with her daughter's performance, especially since this was the season opener.

"She had a good day," Holly Strickland said. "She had the Valparaiso girls cheering her on.

"She hit her back tuck on beam, and that was a big hill to climb."

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