PORTAGE — Chesterton’s girls gymnastics team defended its Duneland Athletic Conference meet title Saturday at Portage.
The defending state champion Trojans posted a score of 114.675.
Valparaiso was second with 111/775 and Lake Central was third (110.4).
Chesterton senior Jordan Bush led the Trojans, winning all-around (38.475), beam (9.725), and floor (9.65). Bush also was second on vault (9.7).
To prepare herself for Saturday’s meet, Bush brushed up on and refined her routines, in addition to constantly trying to keep the morale of the team high.
“I thought I did very well, because a couple nights ago I had a very bad spill on beam and I bruised my foot really bad," Bush said. "I was able to build my confidence and redeem myself.
“I’ve been trying to help my teammates get the confidence that we all needed, because everyone always has doubts and so just being there for everybody and them being there for me really helps.”
Bush also said that her personal highlight for the day was vault, because she has been struggling on and off with her practices, and that her personal low was bars due to a rough warm-up.
“I’m very proud of my team, I think they stepped up today,” Chesterton head coach Dawn Matthys said. “They’ve had a few challenges here and there on different events and they overcame them.”
Matthys said that she was excited to see the other teams participate in the DAC, stating that she enjoyed seeing some of the competition’s performances since she doesn’t always get to see them. She gave a shout-out to Merrillville’s floor and Valparaiso’s bars performances, saying it was great getting a chance to see them in their element.
Teammate Mia Pak won bars (9.75). Also, Portage's Bobbie Russell won vault (9.8).*
Both Matthys and Bush had some lasting comments about what they took away from today’s win, and how they can apply them to the near future.
“We still have a few kinks to work out, so we still have a little work to do before we head into sectionals next week,” Matthys said.
“I learned that having fun is key," Bush added. "In gymnastics, you put so much pressure on yourself and being able to laugh on the sidelines with your teammates or somebody from another team is the best feeling in the world.
* Editor's note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version.