Chesterton Tribune



Trojan Gymnastics in search of back-to-back State titles Saturday

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It’s harder to stay on top of the mountain than it is to get there.

The top-ranked Chesterton gymnastics team will try to remain there as they search for back-to-back State Championships on Saturday in Noblesville.

“It was our goal to repeat from day one, especially with so many people coming back,” Chesterton head coach Dawn Matthys said. “We only had one girl graduate that competed for us in the post-season last year. And they are really having to work in practice to earn those spots.”

The Trojans will be joined in the team competition by No. 4 Portage, No. 5 Lake Central, No. 6 Ft. Wayne Carroll, No. 7 Columbus North, No. 9 Homestad, No. 12 Angola, No. 13 Richmond and Columbus East.

“We are in a new venue. Being in a new venue presents different challenges,” Matthys said. “After being at Ball State for three years, we kind of knew where everything was and you could kind of get into your groove. Now, we don’t know what to expect in a warm-up gym or even equipment.

“Our hopes are high because we’ve been undefeated all year. We’re still hungry to have that perfect meet.”

Practice this week hasn’t been any different than all season according to Matthys.

“This week of practice has been intense. We’re always striving for the perfect 10, so our goal is to make the routines as clean and flawless as possible,” Matthys said. “I don’t think it’s been any different than any other week. They want the state championship so bad, you can see how hungry they are.

“They set their own standard and have been working so hard and that’s just who they are. Their work ethic is so high.”

The Trojans will be led by the 1-2 punch of senior Jordan Bush and junior Sophie Hunzelman. Hunzelman is the two-time defending all-around champion. She is also the defending state champion on beam and was the 2017 bars champ.

Bush was the 2018 floor champ and won last weekend’s Valparaiso Regional all-around title.

“Jordan is our four-time MVP. She’s our All-Around champ,” Matthys said. “She leads by example and work ethic. Jordan is just a pleasure to coach.”

Bush will have three classmates alongside during the day on Saturday. Lexi Avey, Baylie Lawson and Hailee Ellenwood will all get a shot in at least one rotation.

“Lexi is our leadoff on bars and it’s one of her best events. It’s the only event she’s competing in and she’s always been really strong and clean,” Matthys said. “Baylie is one of the hardest working girls on the team. She’s really wanted a post-season position. She’ll compete on two rotations. I’m really proud of her.

“Hailee is going to be the leadoff on Beam. She was so clutch for us on Floor last week at the Regional. What a pro. She handles with a calm, quiet, beautiful demeanor. She’s just amazing.”

The Trojans will be in search of their fifth state title (1993, 2000, 2002, 2018) and will be in the state finals for the fourth consecutive year.

Columbus North is making its 13th straight state finals appearance, while Homestead makes its fifth straight appearance.

Two of the longest state streaks ended this year as Valparaiso didn’t advance out of the Sectional for the first time since 2001 and Ft. Wayne Bishop Dwenger’s streak of appearances ended at 19 years in a row.

“The routines are done and the difficulty has been attained,” Matthys said. “If we do what we are supposed to do, everybody has to come catch us.”


Posted 3/8/2019




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