An elite event

February 17, 2019

PORTAGE — With both having inexperienced gymnastics teams for this type of atmosphere, and facing some of the state’s premier squads, the objective for La Porte and Michigan City was to compete as best they could and build for the future.

In spite of the final standings, the Slicers and Wolves seemed to have accomplished their goals for the most part, even though City was somewhat disappointed.

The Slicers placed eighth (85.3) in the Duneland Athletic Conference Meet at Portage on Saturday, while the Wolves recorded seventh (91.525). Chesterton won the event (114.675), and Valparaiso followed in second (111.775). Lake Central finished third (110.4), while Merrillville took fourth (109.725). The host Indians were fifth (108.825), and Crown Point tallied sixth (108.45). Five of the top 10 ranked teams in the state competed in this event.

“The only thing I can tell them is to go out there and do their best,” La Porte coach Emily Baker said. “There’s nothing I can ask from them. So as long as they go out there and give 110 percent, that’s all you can ask for really.

“They performed pretty well today. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a full team. We’ve had a couple of injuries. But next week they should be back.”

The Slicers’ Alexis Tracy competed, but she was hampered with a back injury, while Shelby Singleton suffered a concussion last week and she didn’t participate on Saturday.

Baker added it’s looking like Singleton will return for Wednesday’s practice, and might be ready for next Saturday’s sectional.

City coach Jami Fryer echoed Baker’s sentiment about the squad focusing on themselves, while adding her team’s performance was fairly underwhelming.

“It wasn’t the meet we wanted,” Fryer said.

“Most of the girls are for Sarah (Weber) to be honest, and she got hurt, so that kind of didn’t work out. But the rest of the girls, I just want them to do their best. A lot of them did pretty well. Two of them put new skills in, so that’s good.”

Weber injured her back in warm-ups, so that limited her performance. Fryer added she was really, really sore.

“Hopefully, she’ll take a little break over the weekend, ice and heat it,” Fryer said. “And get back in the gym. Because she has the potential to go to the regional on beam, so we’re hoping for that.”

No La Porte or City gymnast finished in the top 12 in any event.

Freshman Ella Schable guided the Slicers with a 12th-place showing all-around (32.3). Her best event was vault, where she earned an 8.7. Plus, Schable recorded an 8.625 on floor, besides posting an 8.35 on beam and a 6.625 on bars.

“Ella probably had her best meet of the season today,” Baker said. “So she’s peaking at the right time. We put a couple extra skills in her routines. We’ve got a couple more tweaks before next weekend. She even had her best all-around score of the season.”

To complement Schable, La Porte freshman Rylee Stephany claimed an 8.575 on vault, an 8.475 on floor, a 7.05 on beam, as well as a 6.525 on bars. Tracy, meanwhile, another Slicer freshman, recorded an 8.375 on vault, in addition to a 7.35 on floor and a 6.65 on beam. Another La Porte freshman, Oliviah Beron, added an 8.0 on vault.

Sarah Weber paced the Wolves with an 8.775 on floor, to go along with recording an 8.1 on vault. She registered a 7.35 on bars and a 6.5 on beam. Krista Bendix notched an 8.2 on vault and an 8.15 on floor. She finished with a 7.75 on beam, in addition to a 6.85 on bars. Riley Plummer’s best event was vault, where she scored an 8.05. She also added a 7.825 on floor, a 7.1 on beam, and a 6.875 on bars.

“Krista did her flyaway off bars for the first time,” Fryer said. “She got a new dismount.

“Krista made it through the entire season without falling on beam, so that’s impressive.”

City’s Brikea Sherrod chipped in with a 7.6 on vault as well as a 6.1 on floor.

The Chesterton Sectional is next Saturday at noon.

DAC Gymnastics Meet

Michigan City 7th (91.525)

La Porte 8th (85.3)