IHSAA Girls Gymnastics

2004 State Finals Summary




The 32nd Annual Girls Gymnastics Tournament Series State Championship was decided Saturday afternoon, March 22, 2004, at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis, with Hobart High School outpointing Valparaiso, 111.775 to 109.275.


For the Brickies, it was their first-ever gymnastics championship and their seventh school title overall: Boys Cross Country (1957-58, 1960-61); Football (1987-88 (4A), 1989-90 (4A), 1991-92 (4A), 1993-94 (4A)).


Freshman Kara Morton led the way for Hobart with a first-place finish on the Balance Bean, along with a third on the Uneven Bars, an eighth on the Vault and a fifth spot in the Floor Exercise.   The school also received top-ten finishes from sophomore Megan Cherry on the Balance Bean (#10), Uneven Bars (#5) and Vault (#3).  Senior Mandi Bircher also contributed with a fourth place finish on the Vault, along with a third in the Floor Exercise.


Rebekah Porter of Valparaiso was a double repeat champ, garnering honors on the Vault, with a 9.900 average score, and the Floor Exercise, scoring 9.875.  She also captured All-Around honors with a score of 38.025 and, in addition, took home the Mildred M. Ball Mental Attitude Award.


Last year’s state champion, Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger, finished in third place with team total of 108.225, followed by Center Grove (108.075) and Carroll (Fort Wayne) (105.175)


The complete list of team and individual winners can be found on the Girls Gymnastics page of the IHSAA web site.




Rebekah Porter of Valparaiso High School captured the Mildred M. Ball Mental Attitude Award in Gymnastics following the state finals at Perry Meridian High School on March 20, 2004.


 Mildred M. Ball served the IHSAA as an assistant commissioner from 1977 until her retirement in 1997.  Among her responsibilities were the licensing and training of officials and administering tournaments in gymnastics, golf, tennis and soccer.  She also served on the Gymnastics Rules Committee and the Equity Committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations. 


At the conclusion of the state finals, the IHSAA Executive Committee presents the award to the outstanding senior participant in the Gymnastics State Finals.  The recipient of the award, who was nominated by her principal and coach, must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in gymnastics.


In 2003, Rebekah captured the Vault, Floor Exercise and All-Around titles in the IHSAA Gymnastics Championships.  This year, she turned in another outstanding effort, placing first in the Vault and Floor Exercise, with eighth place finishes in the Balance Beam and Uneven Bars and was tops in the All-Around scoring. In 2003-04, she won the Duneland Athletic Conference, Sectional and Regional titles, despite being hampered by a stress fracture in her shin.


Academically, she ranks 63rd in her class of 456, was named Academic All-State and is a member of the National Honor Society.  Her other awards include the Gold Award, Silver Award, Leadership Award, President’s Student Service Award, her third, as presented by the Girl Scouts of America, of which she was a  two-year board member.  She was a representative at the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, DC. this past fall.  She plans to attend the University of New Hampshire to major in Athletic Training.


A member of the school’s Latin Club, she served as Secretary in 2002 and as President of the organization in 2003.


Rebekah is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Porter of Valparaiso.


Farm Bureau Insurance, IHSAA corporate sponsor, presented a $1,000.00 check to the scholarship fund at Valparaiso High School in the name of Rebekah Porter.




Donna Thaler, a licensed IHSAA gymnastics official for 26 years, was honored as the 2004 recipient of the Interscholastic Officials Association Award for excellence in gymnastics.  She was nominated by the Fall Creek Officials Association, of which she has been a member for 16 years.


Donna has worked 21 sectional meets, 19 regionals and has been assigned to the state finals seven times.


She has been involved with the sport of gymnastics from the time she was three years old, would later compete for Pike High School and also coached at Mooresville High School.


Professionally, Donna is a registered radiologic technologist and emergency medical technician and is currently the Program Director of the Radiography Program for Ball State University, through Clarian Health/Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.


She and her husband Richard are the parents of two grown children, Brandon and Ashley.


Each year the Indiana High School Athletic Association , in cooperation with the National Federation of Interscholastic Officials Association, recognizes and honors an outstanding officially in each of 11 sports during the school year.



Team Posters And Individual Action Photographs Available

Visit 20-20 Photographic, the IHSAA’s photographer and the Midwest’s Leader in Sports Action Photography, for images captured during IHSAA State Championship events! Action photos and team photos as well as the 20-20’s Ultimate Sports Poster will be available for purchase later in the week following the state finals.


IHSAA State Championship Merchandise

For t-shirts and other merchandise commemorating this year’s tournament or for any of our events, visit our friends at Morris, Inc.


State Finals Programs Available

Couldn’t be there for the state finals? You can still purchase a copy of the official program while supplies last! Programs are $3.00 if you purchase in person at the IHSAA Office (9150 N. Meridian Street in Indianapolis) or $5.00 by mail (postage included). To order, send a check for $5.00 made payable to the IHSAA, a note including your return address and brief description of your request and mail to: IHSAA Programs, PO Box 40650, Indianapolis, IN 46240-0650.