2000 IHSAA Girls Gymnastics State Finals
March 18, 2000, Perry Meridian High School, Indianapolis
CHESTERTON CROWNED STATE CHAMPION IN TIGHT COMPETITION
Chesterton emerged the state champion in a tightly contested team competition at the 28th Annual Indiana High School Athletic Association Gymnastics State Finals on Saturday at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis.
The top three teams were separated by just .650 as the Trojans collected 110.825 points followed by runner-up Fort Wayne Dwenger at 110.425 and third-place Merrillville at 110.175. It was the second gymnastics state championship for Chesterton (1993) and the school's third overall (1989 wrestling).
Chesterton, coached by Maria Bachuchin, had won the Portage Sectional, but finished second to Merrillville at the Valparaiso Regional a week ago. Fort Wayne Dwenger finished as the runner-up for the second time in three years.
The Trojans' top performances came from senior Kristen Chentnik and freshman Lauren West. Chentnik, who placed seventh in the all-around competition with 36.950 points, ended sixth in the balance beam and seventh in the uneven parallel bars. West, who ended up 12th all-around at 36.400, placed fourth in the uneven bars and seventh in the floor exercise. Senior Lisa Walters added an eight place finish in the bars and 10th in the floor for 18th place in the all-around.
Junior Shellen Goltz of Homestead captured all-around honors by accumulating 38.100 points. She was buoyed by winning the balance beam championship with a 9.525 and a pair of second place finishes on the uneven bars (9.500) and the floor exercise (9.675). She became the second Homestead gymnast to win the all-around competition in the history of the state meet joining Jill Beauchamp (1984).
Freshman Nicole Howe of Columbus East (37.800), junior Elizabeth Minix of Fort Wayne Dwenger (37.275), senior Heather Blevins of Blue River Valley (37.250) and senior Aimee Melody of Valparaiso (37.050) rounded out the top five in the all-around.
Sophomore Lisa Diederich of Crown Point won the floor exercise competition with 9.725 points. She became the first Crown Point athlete to win a state gymnastics title. Howe claimed the top spot in the uneven bars (9.575) and Minix won the vault (9.750) for the second time in three years.
1. Chesterton, 110.825
2. Fort Wayne Dwenger, 110.425
3. Merrillville, 110.175
4. Homestead, 109.225
5. Columbus East, 104.450
6. Columbus North, 103.175
7. Plainfield, 101.625
8. Carmel, 101.275
All-Around -- Shellen Goltz, junior, Homestead, 38.100.
Uneven Bars -- Nicole Howe, freshman, Columbus East, 9.575.
Balance Beam -- Shellen Goltz, junior, Homestead, 9.525.
Vault -- Elizabeth Minix, junior, Fort Wayne Dwenger, 9.750.
Floor Exercise -- Lisa Diedrich, sophomore, Crown Point, 9.725.
BLUE RIVER VALLEY'S HEATHER BLEVINS WINS BALL MENTAL ATTITUDE AWARD
Heather Blevins of Blue River Valley High School was selected by the IHSAA Executive Committee as the recipient of the Mildred M. Ball Mental Attitude Award.
Blevins, a senior, placed fourth in the all-around competition with 37.250 points and was helped by a fifth place spot in the uneven bars and a sixth in the vault. She was the defending state champion in the floor exercise and also won the state title in the vault as a freshman in 1997.
Academically, Blevins currently ranks third in her senior class of 48 students. Blue River Valley High School, which enrolls 232 students in four grades, is located in the town of Mt. Summit in Henry County. Blevins has served all four years in the student council and serves as current president and is also president of the National Honor Society. She has also participated in track and field each year of high school. She plans to pursue a physical therapy major at the University of Indianapolis.
The award is named in the honor of former IHSAA assistant commissioner Mildred M. Ball, who served the association from 1977 until her retirement in 1997. It is presented to the outstanding senior participant in the state gymnastics meet who best demonstrates mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.
Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA's corporate partner, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Blue River Valley High School in the name of Blevins.