Gymnastics Finals: Catching the Comets
Gymnastics Finals: Catching the Comets
Gymnastics
Posted Friday, March 9, 2012

For the past four seasons, MHSAA gymnastics has begun and ended with Grand Ledge.

The Comets have won four straight team championships. Grand Ledge gymnasts also have claimed the last five Division 1 individual titles, and senior Christine Wilson won Division 2 in 2011.

But a number of strong teams and individuals are banking on putting an end to the Comets’ recent dominance.

Below are some of the favorites.

Team Finals are today at 2 p.m., with Division 2 individual competition at noon Saturday and Division 1 at 3:30 p.m. All are at Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills High School. Tickets cost $7.

Click for a complete list of qualifiers, Regional results and this weekend’s rotation schedules.

Team Title Contenders

Grand Ledge finished nearly four points ahead of Canton at the 2011 Team Final. But tonight’s competition stands to be closer.

Grand Ledge: Four of the Comets’ top six from last season have continued to star this winter and helped Grand Ledge to the highest Regional score in the state, 149.40. The Comets haven’t lost a meet since finishing runner-up at the 2007 Final, and won both the Kenowa Hills and Canton invitationals this season – making them again the strong favorite.  

Canton: This team should provide the biggest obstacle to a Comets five-peat. Canton finished just 75 thousandths of a point behind Grand Ledge at its invitational Feb. 4. Canton also posted the second-highest Regional score, 148.525, and has finished second and fourth, respectively, at the last two Team Finals.

Troy Athens/Avondale: Also a Regional champion, Athens/Avondale is led by individual Division 1 Regional champion Ashley Moskal -- and edged Farmington by 1.525 points for the team Regional title with a score of 146.975. Athens/Avondale finished fourth at the Canton Invitational.

Farmington: The 2010 and 2008 Finals runner-up finished second at its Regional with a 145.45, but third at the Canton Invitational. Senior Alyssa Bresso scored a 36.400 all-around in her Division 1 Regional, while senior Amanda Lumley won Division 2 that day with a 37.125 and sophomore teammate Meredith Jonik was second with a 36.525.

You’ll read these names again

Division 1

Paige Blythe, Howell: Won her Division 1 all-around with a score of 35.925, including a first place on beam (9.625).

Kylie Dudek, Coldwater junior: Finished second at her Regional with an all-around 37.125 thanks to top-four finishes in each individual event. She won her conference championship, and was 12th at last season’s Final.

Melissa Green, Canton sophomore: Finished second at her Regional with an all-around 37.175. She finished 17th at the Division 1 Final last season.

Ayana Lewis, Canton senior: Finished third at her Regional with an all-around 37.100. She was the Division 2 all-around runner-up at last season’s Finals.

Catrina Malysz, Highland-Milford sophomore: Finished fourth at her Regional, but with a score of 37.050 including a first place on vault (9.30).

Jocelyn Moraw, Canton freshman: Won her Regional with an all-around 37.650 and finished first in three events.

Ashley Moskal, Troy Athens/Avondale senior: Won her Regional with an all-around 38.175, including a first place on bars (9.825). She finished third at last season’s Final.

Sara Pakkanen, Negaunee sophomore: Tied for third at her Regional with an all-around 36.525, including a first place on beam (9.65). She’s a foreign exchange student from Finland.

Chloe Presley, Highland-Milford senior: Finished second at her Regional with a 38.000, keyed by a win on beam (9.80). She finished second at the Kensington Lakes Activities Association meet and fifth at last season’s Final.

Christina Shabet, Troy sophomore: Finished third at her Regional but with a score of 37.975 and a first place on floor (9.80). She finished ninth all-around at last season’s Final.

Taylor Tepper, Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills/Grandville senior: Finished Division 1 Final runner-up the last two seasons. This winter, she tied for third at her Regional with an all-around 36.525, with first places on floor (9.925) and vault (9.70).

Christine Wilson, Grand Ledge senior: Last season’s Division 2 Final champion moved up to Division 1 this winter and won her Regional with an all-around score of 38.800. She’s posted 10.0 scores twice this season and won bars at the Regional with a 9.95.

Division 2

Presley Allison, Grand Ledge sophomore: Finished fourth at her Regional with an all-around 36.400, including a first place on beam (9.450). She finished third all-around at last season’s Final.

Sereen El-Awad, Troy Athens/Avondale senior: Although third all-around at her Regional (36.250), she won both vault (9.05) and bars (9.05) and was second on floor (9.70). She tied for seventh at last season’s Final.

Lauren Clark, Grand Ledge junior: Won her Regional with an all-around 36.950, with first places on floor (9.625) and bars (9.025). She finished eighth at last season’s Final.

Ashley Hextall, Pinckney junior: Won her Regional with an all-around 36.40, with first places on the vault (9.50) and floor (9.425).

Jacey Jackard, Haslett/Williamston/Bath senior: Finished third at her Regional with an all-around 35.50 after placing fifth at last season’s Final. She won bars at the Regional (8.825).

Nicole Jacobs, Salem senior: Finished second at her Regional with an all-around 35.975. She took 16th at last season’s Final.

Meredith Jonik, Farmington sophomore: Finished second at her Regional with an all-around score of 36.525 and won beam that day with a 9.425. She finished 15th at last season’s Final.

Megan Lee, Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills/Grandville senior: Finished third at her Regional with an all-around 36.875, including runner-up finishes on both beam (9.40) and floor (9.525, tied). She finished 11th all-around at last season’s Final.

Erica Lucas, Canton sophomore: Finished first at her Regional. She tied for fourth on vault at last season’s Final.

Amanda Lumley, Farmington senior: Won her Regional with an all-around score of 37.125, with a first place on floor (9.875). She finished fourth at last season’s Final.

Karry Modolo, Freeland/Saginaw Swan Valley junior: Finished second at her Regional with an all-around 35.775 despite not winning an individual event. She finished second on bars (8.75).

Brittany Ramirez, Salem: Finished fourth at her Regional with an all-around 35.775.

Sara Peltier, Grand Ledge sophomore: Finished second at her Regional with an all-around 36.900, including a first place on vault (9.425). She finished 12th all-around at last season’s Final.

PHOTO (top) of Christine Wilson courtesy of Grand Ledge gymnastics program. Photo (middle) of Haslett/Williamston/Bath's Jacey Jackard.


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