Valparaiso’s Morgan Algozine finishes second at USAG Junior Olympics
By Anthony D. Alonzo Post-Tribune correspondent June 6, 2012 11:36PM
The Level 9 team from Indiana Elite Gymnastics advanced to the USA Gymnastics Eastern Nationals held last month in Landover, Md. They were (from left) Kylee Maxwell, Morgan Algozine and Madison Kurtz. Algozine ended up finished second all-around at nationals with 36.525, which included fourth on vault (9.45). | provided photo
Updated: July 8, 2012 6:47PM
On a roll and adding a number of top gymnastics performances to her résumé during her junior year, Valparaiso High School senior Morgan Algozine earned an all-around second place finish at the USAG Junior Olympics Eastern National Championships in Landover, Md. on May 6.
The gymnast, who notched an IHSAA-record 9.95 on vault at the state finals at Ball State University in March, advanced through USAG state and regional meets to compete in her first national championship event. The results at the Maryland competition came as a bit of a surprise to Algozine.
After earning fourth place scores on beam and vault and fifth on bars, the Valparaiso gymnast did a double take when her all-around score of 36.525 was announced as second. Amanda Scanlon of Connecticut had just earned a 36.6.
“Going (to nationals) there’s such a high-level and so many good competitors there that I just went and did my routines and didn’t expect much,” Algozine said. “But then we went to awards later and (the announcer) called my name for second place and that was huge. It was an amazing experience.”
Algozine attributes her success to continued focus on the sport with the mentoring of her Valparaiso coach Lorie Cook and Indiana Elite coach Lisa Whipps. The support of her family and friends, has also been key, she said.
On the strength of her recent performances, Algozine said her coaches have recommended she move up to Level 10 competition this summer. That is the last step before a gymnast is at an elite level.
“Hopefully I can move on to collegiate gymnastics,” Algozine said. “That’s my goal.”
E’Twaun Moore camp: Former East Chicago Central and Purdue star E’Twaun Moore will host a basketball camp at ECC’s John A. Baratto Gymnasium on June 29 and 30.
The camp for youth entering grades 4 to 9 will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with check-in from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on June 29. On-site registration at 1100 W. Columbus Drive, East Chicago, will be permitted until capacity is reached. The first 150 registrants will receive a camp certificate and t-shirt, as well as an autographed photo of the Boston Celtics player.
Fees for the camp are $40 for East Chicago residents (with ID required) and $70 for non-residents. For more details, call 381-5075, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.etwaunmoorebasketball.com.
Finn Passing Academy: Former Andrean standout quarterbacks Billy, Bobby and Tommy Finn will tutor aspiring QBs and skill position players at the Finn Passing Academy for incoming fifth through ninthgraders, which will run from July 16 to 18.
In its third year, the camp will be held at Andrean (5959 Broadway in Merrillville) from 9 a.m. to noon.
Besides instruction, it will also feature guest speakers who will talk to campers about football and about life. They include Morton coach Roy Richards, former Crown Point coach Chip Pettit and Andrean head coach Phil Mason.
Billy Finn said that with instructional experience under their belts, the brothers will add some new features to the training sessions.
“We always have a last second new twist that we throw in each year from ideas we get from our families as we sit down for Sunday night dinner at my parents’ house the night before camp,” he said.
Fees for the camp are $120 per player, with registration closing on July 1. For more details, visit www.finnpassingacademy.com.