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Valparaiso's Gabi Grisafi motivated to place at state
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PREP GYMNASTICS

Valparaiso's Gabi Grisafi motivated to place at state

Gabi Grisafi, Valparaiso

Valparaiso’s Gabi Grisafi performs on the balance beam at the 2020 Portage Regional.

Valparaiso’s Gabi Grisafi is motivated to get on the podium this year, after finishing eighth in the state finals in the all-around last year.

“I was really hoping to place (on the podium), but I came up short,” the talented sophomore said. “It ended up all being good. … I tried to work very hard in the offseason, working out and making sure I’m strong enough so I can hit my skills consistently because that’s all on my mind. I just want to get back to state and try to win state.”

Getting on the podium would mean a top-6 finish which is well within her reach and then some.

“She’s certainly one of the top all-arounders in the state,” Valpo coach Lorie Cook said.

Grisafi didn’t start taking gymnastics seriously until the eighth grade. Now the Vikings’ most consistent gymnast is beginning to realize how good she can be after a solid freshman season.

“Well, honestly I wasn’t really that good when I was little,” Grifasi said.

She credits coach Jodi Nylin at Horizon Gymnastics & Cheer Academy and Cook for her development as a gymnast.

“(Jodi) helped me through everything like all the basic skills, just the basic foundation of gymnastics,” Grisafi said. "She was there for me. And then when I came to high school, coach Cook has helped me tremendously, just pushing myself beyond my limits and making me do stuff that I never knew that I could achieve.”

Cook said she’s not surprised with what Grisafi has accomplished this season. She scored a 38.05 in the all-around at both the Viking Invite and in a dual win over LaPorte. Grisafi has helped the Vikings to a 3-0 record heading into Tuesday’s match at Lake Central.

“Gabi is pretty consistent,” Cook said. “She’s a strong gymnast, doesn’t have a weak event, and she’s added some skills to her routines and she’s continuing to be very consistent for us like she was last year.”

Grisafi is strong in every event, but the beam might be her best routine. She scored a 9.75 at the Viking Invite.

“We put her up as our leadoff person on beam last year, and that’s just because of the consistency that she had and the ability to hit,” Cook said. “She won our most consistent award because of that.”

Grisafi said she really enjoys the beam, the most difficult event, and that it’s her favorite along with vault.

“Since we practice so much, I try to make sure everything is very consistent in practice so then it will be in meets,” she said.

Cook said Grisafi is the Vikings’ anchor, and she has added some difficulty to her routines.

“She’s a very determined person, and she works hard so it was good to see the improvement last year and the ability to stay calm under pressure,” she said. "I’m impressed by what she has learned and her ability to be consistent with all of her routines.”

Valpo has won 12 state titles with a number of great gymnasts over the years. Grisafi will likely be considered among the best before her prep career is over.

“She’s a pretty awesome gymnast right now,” Cook said.

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