MUNCIE, Ind. – Sophomore Emily Moore tied for second on one event, tied for third on another and placed fifth in the all-around competition on Saturday (March 14), leading the Columbus North gymnastics team to a fifth-place finish as a team in the IHSAA State Finals.
Senior Sami Heathcote added another headline for the Bull Dogs as she was selected the winner of the Mildred M. Ball Award for Mental Attitude during the awards program for the competition at Ball State University’s Worthen Arena in front of an audience of only other gymnasts, coaches and essential personnel. The crowd was restricted to just those few as Indiana and the nation is dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Moore totaled 37.875 points and Heathcote added a 36.575 in the all-around to lead Columbus North to a 109.575 team total, the Bull Dogs’ eighth consecutive team top-five finish in the State Finals.
Chesterton amassed 112.250 points to capture its third consecutive team championship and the Trojans’ sixth overall title as a program. Valparaiso was runner-up with 111.550 points followed by Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger with 110.050 points, Lake Central with 109.925 points and Columbus North.
Moore’s highlights came on the balance beam, where she tied for second place with a score of 9.575, and on uneven parallel bars, where she tied for third place with a score of 9.375. Moore also tied for ninth place on vault with a 9.500 and tied for 11th place on floor exercise with a 9.425.
Heathcote’s all-around total resulted in a 12th-place finish overall. She tied for seventh on floor with a 9.450, tied for 12th on vault with a 9.400, tied for 20th on bars with an 8.800 and placed 21st on beam with an 8.925 en route to her all-around score.
Completing the Bull Dogs’ lineup were:
>> Senior Alayne Davis, tied for 24th on floor with a 9.275, 37th on vault with an 8.925 and 47th on beam with a 7.350.
>> Senior Ashley Niebrugge, tied for 28th on beam with an 8.675 and 34th on floor with an 8.950.
>> Sophomore Madi Edwards, tied for 33rd on vault with a season-best 8.975 and 34th on bars with an 8.200.
>> Freshman Lindsey Mullis, 36th on bars with an 8.125.
Richmond sophomore Elizabeth Ruger captured the top individual prize, earning blue ribbons in the all-around with a 38.225 and on the floor with a 9.650. Other event champions were Chesterton junior Mia Pak, a repeat winner on bars with a 9.600; Northwestern junior Catie Smith, who claimed the beam with a 9.625; and Harrison (West Lafayette) sophomore Haiven Gipson, who prevailed on vault with a 9.900.
Joining Ruger on the podium in the all-around were South Central (Union Mills) sophomore Makenna King with a 38.150, Pak with a 38.025, Homestead freshman Gianna Zirille with a 38.000, Moore and Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger junior Emma Doyle with a 37.600.
Heathcote became Columbus North’s eighth gymnast – and the fourth in five years – to be presented the Mental Attitude Award. She joins a list that includes Pam Robillard in 1974, Robin Loheide in 1989, Cassie Funcheon in 2010, Chelsea Wieland in 2013, Katrina May in 2016, Ashley Holliday in 2017 and Claire Thompson in 2018.
Earlier this school year, Heathcote was named a school winner in the High School Heisman program. She was making her third appearance in the gymnastics State Finals and she also qualified for the state meet in track and field in the pole vault in 2018. Heathcote plans to study engineering in college, but she is undecided on what college she will attend.
Columbus North was making its 14th consecutive appearance in the gymnastics State Finals and its 24th overall as a program. The Bull Dogs’ previous finishes at state include 1973 (champions), 1974 (champions), 1977 (third), 1986 (second), 1987 (second), 1988 (third), 1996 (third), 1998 (fourth), 2000 (sixth), 2001 (seventh), 2007 (seventh), 2008 (second), 2009 (tied for fourth), 2010 (third), 2011 (third), 2012 (sixth), 2013 (fourth), 2014 (third), 2015 (third), 2016 (champions), 2017 (second), 2018 (third) and 2019 (fifth).
AT WORTHEN ARENA, BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
IHSAA State Finals
Team scores: Chesterton 112.250, Valparaiso 111.550, Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger 110.050, Lake Central 109.925, Columbus North 109.575, Homestead 109.000, Richmond 107.725, Carroll (Fort Wayne) 105.375, New Castle 101.475.
Vault: 1, Haiven Gipson (Harrison-West Lafayette) 9.900; 2, Elizabeth Ruger (Richmond) 9.775; 3, Mia Pak (Chesterton) 9.750; 4, Erica Xayarath (Fort Wayne Wayne) 9.725; 5 (tie), Makenna King (South Central-Union Mills) and Giana Zirille (Homestead), both 9.675; 9 (tie), Emily Moore (CN) 9.500; 12 (tie), Sami Heathcote (CN) 9.400; 33 (tie), Madi Edwards (CN) 8.975; 37, Alayne Davis (CN) 8.925.
Bars: 1, Mia Pak (Chesterton) 9.600; 2, Makenna King (South Central-Union Mills) 9.550; 3 (tie), Emily Moore (CN), Giana Zirille (Homestead) and Julia Goodine (Carroll-Fort Wayne), all 9.375; 6, Cloe Amanatidis (Lake Central) 9.300; 20 (tie), Sami Heathcote (CN) 8.800; 34, Madi Edwards (CN) 8.200; 36, Lindsey Mullis (CN) 8.125.
Beam: 1, Catie Smith (Northwestern) 9.625; 2 (tie), Emily Moore (CN) and Emma Doyle (Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger), both 9.575; 4 (tie), Elizabeth Ruger (Richmond) and Cloe Amanatidis (Lake Central), both 9.550; 6, Megan Wagenblast (Valparaiso) 9.475; 21, Sami Heathcote (CN) 8.925; 28 (tie), Ashley Niebrugge (CN) 8.675; 47, Alayne Davis (CN) 7.350.
Floor: 1, Elizabeth Ruger (Richmond) 9.650; 2, Gianna Zirille (Homestead) 9.550; 3 (tie), Briana Thomas (Merrillville) and Sophia Hunzelman (Chesterton), both 9.525; 5, Makenna King (South Central-Union Mills) 9.500; 6, Mia Pak (Chesterton) 9.475; 7 (tie), Sami Heathcote (CN) 9.450; 11 (tie), Emily Moore (CN) 9.425; 24 (tie), Alayne Davis (CN) 9.275; 34, Ashley Niebrugge (CN) 8.950.
All-around: 1, Elizabeth Ruger (Richmond) 38.225; 2, Makenna King (South Central-Union Mills) 38.150; 3, Mia Pak (Chesterton) 38.025; 4, Gianna Zirille (Homestead) 38.000; 5, Emily Moore (CN) 37.875; 6, Emma Doyle (Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger) 37.600; 12, Sami Heathcote (CN) 36.575.
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 (8): Pam Robillard (1974), Robin Loheide (1989), Cassie Funcheon (2010), Chelsea Wieland (2013), Katrina May (2016), Ashley Holliday (2017), Claire Thompson (2018) and Sami Heathcote (2020).
PHOTO: Senior Sami Heathcote shares a moment with coaches Bob Arthur (left) and Sandy Freshour (right) following the presentation of the Mildred M. Ball Mental Attitude Award the the IHSAA gymnastics State Finals on March 14, 2020.