Girls gymnastics

Valparaiso rallies on final event to win state gymnastics title

2014-03-22T19:15:00Z 2014-03-24T21:54:25Z Valparaiso rallies on final event to win state gymnastics titleMichael Raines Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 22, 2014 7:15 pm  • 

MUNCIE | After three rotations, it appeared Valparaiso’s season-long domination of Indiana high school gymnastics might come to a premature end.

The Vikings sat in second place for much of the day, but ended the state championship meet on floor – the event Valparaiso had scored highest on at regional.

Conversely, Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger had to finish the competition on beam, its lowest score at regionals.

“We knew it was possible,” Valparaiso coach Lorie Cook said. “We felt good about our chances, that it was possible to do it. We knew we would have to perform well, and we did.”

Valpo scored a meet-high 28.35 on floor to win the state championship with a 111.85. Dwenger, which led by less than half a point after three rotations, counted a fall on beam (27.75) and finished in second (111.225). Merrillville placed fifth (107.425).

“It’s amazing. It’s awesome. It’s been a journey, for sure,” Cook said. “These kids have improved tremendously through a lot, a lot of hard work and believing in each other and pushing each other. That’s how it happened.”

It is Valparaiso’s first state title since 2011. The Vikings finished runner-up to Dwenger in 2012 and to Portage last year. Valpo extended its own state record with a 10th championship, well ahead of Homestead (six championships) and Dwenger (five).

Valparaiso did not have an individual champion in any event, but sophomore Lia Milroy placed second in all-around (37.725) behind Morgan Township sophomore Kylee Maxwell (37.8).

After just squeaking onto the all-around podium at the Valparaiso regional, Crown Point’s Hannah Best became the third Northwest Indiana sophomore to medal in the all-around at the 2014 state championship.

Best’s 37.225 placed her in sixth, behind Maxwell and Valparaiso’s Lia Milroy.

“I was more confident than I have been before,” said Best, who competed as an all-arounder after qualifying in just two events last year. “It was a lot more nerve-wracking. I wasn’t nervous at all last year, but since I had a good sectional and regionals it was better.”

Best’s highest event score was a 9.5 on bars, good for a sixth-place medal. It was a revelation for coach Ami Pysh, who told Best all season a medal on bars was possible at the state meet.

“She got her highest score of the year on vault and bars today. She reserved the best for last,” Pysh said. “Of course she’s not going to listen to the coach, but I’ve been telling her, ‘Listen, you have a state bar routine; you do.’ She doesn’t do it for me all year, all year, all year … of course, then she gets a 9.5 and I’m like, ‘What did I tell you?’

“That was fun to be at state and have her get two personal bests.”

A quality first impression: Merrillville freshman Heather Osorio was the Pirates' top finisher in all-around, placing 13th (36.5). She also tied for ninth on bars (9.325).

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best girls cross country team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses