Girls Varsity Gymnastics - *2016 IHSAA State Champions*
Game Summaries & Headlines.
You might say that Claire Thompson was destined to be a superior gymnast.
The Columbus North senior is part of a family of gymnasts that includes her mother, Jana, and two older sisters, Hannah and Maddie.
Claire undoubtedly has made the family proud, claiming four individual state championships over the past two seasons – the uneven parallel bars, balance beam and all-around titles as a sophomore in 2016 and repeating on beam last season as a junior.
After earning a berth in the 2018 state meet in with her Bull Dogs’ teammates in the Connersville Regional, Thompson is returning to Ball State’s Worthen Arena on Saturday (March 10) with the objective of claiming another crown on beam.
“The beam definitely is my favorite event and always has been,” the 5-foot-1 athlete said. “It’s about balance, not power, and it’s always just clicked for me.”
Two years ago, Thompson posted a 9.700 on bars and a 9.675 on beam en route to an all-around score of 38.400 as CN won the team state title with a 114.850. Last year, Thompson won beam with a 9.775 and placed second in the all-around at 38.075 as the Bull Dogs were team runners-up with a 112.075.
“I kind of was in shock when I won two years ago,” Thompson said, noting that her mother’s experience as an athlete and coach helps her. “I always wanted to do it, and I believed I could do it. But when it happened, I hardly could believe it at first.”
Thompson – who plans to attend Indiana University with hopes of one day becoming an anesthesiologist – noted that repeating on beam was challenging because of the circumstances. The skills were not more difficult, but she said she put a lot of pressure on herself. Thus, she is striving to minimize the stress this season.
“I really want to get three (championships) in a row,” Thompson said. “In some ways, I feel more pressure because of that. In other ways, I feel less pressure, and I hope that helps.”