Girls Varsity Gymnastics - *2016 IHSAA State Champions*
MUNCIE, Ind. – Junior Claire Thompson and senior Ashley Holliday each provided outstanding performances Saturday (March 11), leading the Columbus North gymnastics team a runner-up finish in the IHSAA State Finals.
Thompson won the balance beam, tied for third on the uneven bars and placed second in the individual all-around as the Bull Dogs totaled 112.075 points, falling just short of a second consecutive team championship.
Holliday took a blue ribbon on vault, tied for seventh on bars, placed third in the all-around and was named winner of the IHSAA’s Mildred M. Ball Award for mental attitude. Holliday is CN’s second consecutive mental attitude award recipient, following Katrina May last year, and the program’s sixth winner of the coveted honor.
Valparaiso took a record 12th team championship with 112.375 points, 0.300 ahead of Columbus North. Chesterton was third with 112.050 points followed by Fort Wayne Dwenger at 111.875, Carroll (Fort Wayne) at 109.400 and Columbus East at 109.375. Bloomington South (108.550), Merrillville (106.450) and Homestead (105.900) rounded out the nine-team field.
CN finished as the team runner-up for the fourth time in program history, also placing second in 1986, 1987 and 2008. The Bull Dogs were team champions in 1973, 1974 and last season.
Columbus North opened its day on floor exercise, posting a 27.725 score and Thompson leading the squad by tying for 10th place with a 9.325. Holliday was 15th with a 9.276, freshman Sami Heathcote tied for 20th with a 9.125 and freshman Ashley Niebrugge tied for 34th with an 8.700. Valparaiso junior Rachel Moneta won the event with a 9.550.
Holliday won the vault with a 9.750 on CN’s second event, where the Bull Dogs totaled a 28.375 to share the team lead after two rotations with a 56.100. Thompson was 17th on vault with a 9.350, Heathcote was tied for 22nd with a 9.275 and junior Kaitlyn Calandro was 40th with an 8.550.
Thompson scored a 9.625 to tie for third on bars as Columbus North totaled a 27.975 for an 84.075 total after three rotations and a 0.050 lead over the Vikings in the team standings. Holliday tied for seventh with a 9.525, Heathcote was 31st with an 8.825 and freshman Alayne Davis tied for 37th with an 8.375. Chesterton freshman Sophia Hunzelman, the all-around champion, and Columbus East junior Adi Minor shared the event crown with scores of 9.650.
On CN’s final rotation, Thompson took first on beam with a season-best 9.775 and helped Columbus North post a 28.000. However, Valparaiso scored a 28.350 on vault, its final event, to slip past the Bull Dogs for the team championship. Heathcote tied for ninth with a 9.175, Holliday tied for 14th with a 9.050 and Calandro placed 39th with a 7.925 on beam.
In the all-around, Hunzelman totaled a 38.200 to prevail. Thompson was second at 38.075 and Holliday placed third with a 37.600. Valparaiso sophomore Whitney McKeon finished fourth at 37.575 and the Vikings’ Moneta was fifth at 37.425. Heathcote placed 14th with a 36.400.
Holliday, a two-time team captain, was honored with the mental attitude award after helping Columbus North to four State Finals appearances that included team finishes of fourth, third, first and second. In addition to her vault title this season, she was state champ on bars in 2015, runner-up on bars in 2014 and runner-up on vault in 2016.
In addition to gymnastics, Holliday has earned two letters in cheerleading and two more in track and field. She also is secretary of the CN Student Council, a member of National Honor Society and volunteers at Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Holliday, the daughter of Rob and Cathne Holliday, plans to attend Indiana University in 2017-18 to study accounting and finance at the Kelley School of Business.
AT WORTHEN ARENA
IHSAA Girls’ Gymnastics State Finals
Team scores: Valparaiso 112.375, Columbus North 112.075, Chesterton 112.050, Fort Wayne Dwenger 111.875, Carroll (Fort Wayne) 109.400, Columbus East 109.375, Bloomington South 108.550, Merrillville 106.450, Homestead 105.900.
Vault: 1, Ashley Holliday (CN) 9.750; 2, Amy Weilbaker (FW Dwenger) 9.650; 3, E’Lycia Early (FW Concordia) 9.625; 4, Sophia Hunzelman (Chesterton) 9.600; 5, Kaylee Eurton (Bloomington South) 9.575; 6 (tie), Catherine Milne (Homestead) and McKinley Carroll (Carroll-FW) 9.500; 17, Claire Thompson (CN) 9.350; 22 (tie), Sami Heathcote (CN) 9.275; 40, Kaitlyn Calandro (CN) 8.550.
Bars: 1 (tie), Adi Minor (Columbus East) and Sophia Hunzelman (Chesterton) 9.650; 3 (tie), Claire Thompson (CN) and Jenna Algozine (Valpo) 9.625; 5, Catherine Milne (Homestead) 9.575; 6, Heather Osorio (Merrillville) 9.550; 7 (tie), Ashley Holliday (CN) 9.525; 31, Sami Heathcote (CN) 8.825; 37 (tie), Alayne Davis (CN) 8.375.
Beam: 1, Claire Thompson (CN) 9.775; 2, Sophia Hunzelman (Chesterton) 9.550; 3 (tie), Whitney McKeon (Valpo) and Adi Minor (Columbus East) 9.325; 5, Rachel Landstoffer (FW Dwenger) 9.275; 6 (tie), Khloe Dykes (Franklin Central), Seena Greiwe (Columbus East) and Abby Lewis (Columbus East) 9.225; 9 (tie), Sami Heathcote (CN) 9.175; 14 (tie), Ashley Holliday (CN) 9.050; 39, Kaitlyn Calandro (CN) 7.925.
Floor: 1, Rachel Moneta (Valpo) 9.550; 2, Amy Weilbker (FW Dwenger) 9.500; 3, Jenna Algozine (Valpo) 9.475; 4 (tie), Jordan Bush (Chesterton), Elaine Cornewell (FW Dwenger) and Emma Taylor (McCutcheon) 9.450; 10 (tie), Claire Thompson (CN) 9.325; 15, Ashley Holliday (CN) 9.275; 20 (tie), Sami Heathcote (CN) 9.125; 34 (tie), Ashley Niebrugge (CN) 8.700.
All-around: 1, Sophia Hunzelman (Chesterton) 38.200; 2, Claire Thompson (CN) 38.075; 3, Ashley Holliday (CN) 37.600; 4, Whitney McKeon (Valpo) 37.575; 5, Rachel Moneta (Valpo) 37.425; 6, Jordan Bush (Chesterton) 37.325; 14, Sami Heathcote (CN) 36.400.
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COLUMBUS NORTH GIRLS’ GYMNASTICS STATE CHAMPIONS
Team champions (3): 1973, 1974 and 2016.
Vault champions (7): Pam Robillard (1974), Jennifer Moore (1982), Jennifer Moore (1983), Robin Loheide (1986), Elizabeth Hackman (1995), Cassie Funcheon (2010); Ashley Holliday (2017).
Bars champions (4): Pam Robillard (1974), Robin Loheide (1986), Ashley Holliday (2015) and Claire Thompson (2016).
Beam champions (4): Pam Robillard (1974), Robin Loheide (1986), Claire Thompson (2016) and Claire Thompson (2017).
Floor champions (1): Robin Loheide (1987).
All-around champions (4): Pam Robillard (1974), Robin Loheide (1986), Robin Loheide (1988), Claire Thompson (2016).
Mental Attitude Award winners (6): Pam Robillard (1974), Robin Loheide (1989), Cassie Funcheon (2010), Chelsea Wieland (2013), Katrina May (2016) and Ashley Holliday (2017).