CHESTERTON | Brandi Tuzinski attempted a vault Saturday afternoon that she had not done since the state meet last year.
The gamble paid off. The Chesterton gymnast tied for first place in the vault at the Chesterton Invitational, and the Trojans walked away with the overall title with 109.5 points. They edged out Angola, which came in second with 107.15.
"That was amazing. (My vault) was just one of those personal victories because I haven't even done it at practice. It was just amazing," Tuzinski said.
Tuzinski tied for first place in the vault with Angola's Alex Nichel with a score of 9.5, and came in second in the all-around with a score of 37.8. Nichel won the all-around title with 38.45 points.
"She (Brandi) threw a vault today that she hasn't thrown in a long time. We asked her, ‘Hey, can you pull this out for us?' and she pulled it out and nailed it, and it paid off," Chesterton coach Lauren West said. "She's been a really good leader for our team. Besides just competing, she's a team player."
"I haven't done that well in a long time," Tuzinski said. "It was kind of cool getting back to where I was last season. I feel like not only myself, but the team really grew during this meet, and we rose to the expectations that we set."
Chesterton's Tuzinski, Lindsay Campbell and Marisa Myers placed first, third, and fourth, respectively, in the beam exercise. Myers placed highest for the Trojans on the floor exercise with 9.55 points, good for fourth place.
"It was fantastic, the best meet they've had all season. I'm really proud of them," West said. "We've made some changes and continued to improve throughout the last few weeks. They really showed what they've done today, and I think more importantly they showed themselves what they're capable of."
Crown Point came in third at the invitational with 103.85 points. The Bulldogs were competing without their top gymnast, Katelyn Cservenyak.
"We're thrilled (with third place) because we knew Angola was coming," Crown Point coach Amy Pysh said. "Crown Point, Chesterton and LaPorte always do well. And I heard Michigan City had a few new girls. It was a great meet. I told the girls to shoot for fourth, but I was thinking third would be great, knowing that Angola and Chesterton (competing). So I'm thrilled. They exceeded my expectations."
The highest-place finish for the Bulldogs was seventh in the bars and floor exercise. Megan Supan placed ninth in the all-around for Crown Point with 34.25 points.
"They all stepped up in her (Cservenyak's) place, and they seemed to understand that. They're a very good team and very mature team. They understand that when there's a deficit, that just means they need to step up even more," Pysh said.
LaPorte finished in fifth place (102.2 points), and Michigan City came in sixth place with 99 points. Washington Township's Cassidy Feldsein came in sixth in the all-around events with a score of 34.95 points.