Girls gymnastics | Chesterton Sectional

Valparaiso gymnasts win ninth consecutive sectional crown

2012-03-03T19:00:00Z 2012-03-08T19:15:32Z Valparaiso gymnasts win ninth consecutive sectional crownBy Jim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com

CHESTERTON | Emblematic of Morgan Algozine's overall performance, the Valparaiso junior performed just a single vault to end her Saturday at the Chesterton Sectional.

Algozine scored a 9.85 on her first run, clinching that crown and every other individual award, as well.

Her scores in all-around (38.7) and vault would've been for state titles last season, and her 9.625 would've tied on beam.

"It's an awesome feeling," Algozine said. "It definitely gives me some confidence."

But Algozine's main focus was on the work her teammates did, as the top-ranked Vikings won their ninth-consecutive sectional crown. They posted a season-high 113.375, scoring at least 28 on each apparatus.

"It helps a lot when the girls go in front of me and score well; that sets the tone," Algozine said. "Everybody else did really well on vault, and they really didn't need my score. That takes off some pressure and helps you relax."

Algozine was the lone Viking in all-around, but Valparaiso had at least two gymnasts in the top six in every other event.

"We were very consistent," Valparaiso coach Lorie Cook said. "I was very pleased with our team's effort, focus and mental toughness."

Second-ranked Portage was runner-up with 110. 925. Sophomore Danielle Solis was third in all-around (37.35), while junior Mackenzie Barcelli was fourth (37.725) and freshman Madison Kurtz sixth (36.3).

The Indians finished strong in their final two rotations with a sectional-best 28.425 on floor and a second-best 28.275 on vault.

"We got a little run of confidence late," Portage coach Karen Barcelli said. "If we hit everything, I think we could be the team to beat."

Chesterton struggled most of the day, but Brandi Tuzinski's 9.425 on beam and Marissa Myers' 9.225 on floor helped turn things around. The Trojans edged Merrillville 106-104.45 for the final regional qualifying spot.

Chesterton had falls in the first three beam routines. Tuzinski ended up third overall with her performance. Myers injured her heel on bars, but toughed out her floor routine on the final rotation.

"They used their competitive experience," Chesterton coach Lauren West said, "and that helped them perform under that pressure."

LaPorte's Abaigale Light was second in all-around (37.375), while Washington Township's Cassidy Feldsien qualified for Friday's Valpo regional by finishing fourth (9.35) on beam.

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