MUNCIE – It’ll be the final hurrah for a Wawasee senior this weekend.
Reagan Atwood will make her second appearance at the IHSAA Gymnastics State Finals this Saturday at Ball State, looking to close out her career in grand fashion as an individual on both the beam and floor. Atwood, who finished tied for 20th last year at the Finals on floor, snuck into state this year after tying for sixth place with Elkhart Central’s Skiler Reveal with 9.175s at the Huntington North Regional.
Atwood will also get her first taste of state beam competition after a fourth-place score of 9.275 on Wawasee’s first rotation.
Using the flat scores from across the state coming in, Atwood would be seeded 20th on beam and 29th on floor based off sheer numbers.
“Things really don’t change much heading into a state meet,” said Wawasee head coach Nika Prather following the regional. “You still have to perform and do what it is that got you there. You have to be clean and do all the little things right.”
The only other area representation at state will come from Elkhart Central in Reveal on floor and teammate Analena VanderZwaag. The Flying Dutchman, a junior for the Blazers, qualified for the all-around after placing second at Huntington with a 37.15, just a quarter point behind Fort Wayne Carroll’s McKinley Carroll. VanderZwaag didn’t overwhelm at the regional, placing sixth on vault, bars and beam, but was second on floor with a 9.325, still just the 18th-best score in the state. Her all-around figure has her ninth coming into the finals.
Heading into the weekend, Columbus East’s Adison Minor and Columbus North’s Claire Thompson are the two to watch. Minor scored a 38.975 at the Connersville Regional, Thompson a 38.55 as the top two all-around scores coming into the state meet. Minor is the defending bars state champion, Thompson the defending beam state champion. Valpo’s Whitney McKeon brings in the top all-around tally for the defending team champion Vikings, a 37.925, and the defending all-around champion from last year, Sophie Hunzelman of Chesterton, was just behind McKeon at 37.85. Valpo’s Rachel Moneta is the defending floor state champion.
Chesterton outgunned Valpo, 113.975-113.925, to come in as the highest regional team score, with Columbus North (112.175) and Columbus East (111.325) setting up what should be a very tight team race. Huntington North team champion Fort Wayne Carroll (111.075) will also have a say in the title race, led by McKinley Carroll, Ashelynn Steinke and Ella Smith. Homestead and Fort Wayne Dwenger also come out of the Huntington regional, and teams from Portage and Seymour will also compete at the State Finals.
The IHSAA Gymnastics State Finals will begin at 1 p.m. at Worthen Arena on the campus of Ball State University. VanderZwaag will open on bars and Atwood on beam in the first rotation, Atwood then on the second rotation for the floor, and Reveal the final competitor on floor in the fourth rotation. Atwood is the final performer for each of her rotations, VanderZwaag the second-to-last in her four rotations.