Gymnastics: Valparaiso rolls through regional
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent March 8, 2013 11:00PM
Valparaiso's Morgan Algozine performs her floor routine Friday night during the Gymnastics Regional at Valparaiso High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 10, 2013 6:13AM
VALPARAISO — It started with a team score of 28.45 on floor.
From there, the Valparaiso gymnastics squad rolled through its next three events, posting scores over 28 in each one, as the Vikings finished with a team total of 113.575 to capture the program’s sixth straight regional title and 19th overall.
“This is an awesome win,” said Valparaiso head coach Lorie Cook. “What I really liked was how consistent we were with our scoring.”
After floor, Valparaiso scored 28.375 on vault, 28.325 on bars and then capped the evening with a 28.425 on beam.
Senior Morgan Algozine posted meet-high scores on vault (9.8), beam (9.775) and floor (9.75), while posting the top all-around score (39.05).
The final event of the night served as an emphatic exclamation mark for the Vikings. Freshman Lia Milroy was the first beam performer, starting the Vikings off with a 9.3.
“That was huge,” Cook said of Milroy’s performance. “She’s learned a lot of skills and added them throughout the season.”
Senior Hannah Erwin followed Milroy with a 9.35, and then Algozine atoned for her falls on beam last week with her 9.775 score. An enthusiastic Algozine burst into celebration as soon as she nailed the dismount.
“I was so determined to stay on the beam. An overwhelming mix of emotions came over me,” she said. “I had that in the back of my mind throughout the meet.”
With its trio of Mackenzie Barcelli, Madison Kurtz and Danielle Solis finishing second, sixth and eighth, respectively, in the all-around, Portage earned its second straight trip to the state meet with a team score of 112.4. Barcelli and Solis each score 9.75 on floor, finishing in a 3-way tie for first with Algozine.
“We’re still getting there,” said Barcelli. “I don’t think the scores reflected how much better we did today. The scores were tighter across the board.”
Crown Point took third place, finishing at 106.45.
Joining the Vikings and Indians at state will be Morgan Township freshman Kylee Maxwell, who advanced with an all-around score of 37.4 — sixth best at the meet.
Her final routine was her best, as Maxwell posted a first-place score of 9.8 on bars, drawing an eruption of cheers from the crowd.
“It was just a moment of happiness,” said Maxwell, who quickly embraced her coach Lisa Pozniak after finishing the event. “I got my nerves out last week.”
Also representing Northwest Indiana at next Saturday’s state meet in Muncie will be: Chesterton’s Brandi Tuzinski and Michigan City’s Ashley Koza on bars and Crown Point’s Hannah Best on floor.