March 22, 2014

Vikings Take 10th State Title
Top-ranked Valparaiso held off Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger for the team title in the 42nd Annual IHSAA Gymnastics State Finals at Worthen Arena in Muncie.

This year’s victory gives Valparaiso a state-best 10 team titles, each coming under the direction of head coach Lorie Cook.  The Vikings were led by sophomore Lia Milroy, who earned second place in the all-around (37.725) behind a third place finish on bars (9.550), sixth place finishes on vault (9.525) and floor (9.450), and a 10th place finish on beam (9.200). Junior Rushelle Miller’s floor routine (9.475) was good for fifth in the event, along with a ninth-place finish on bars (9.325).  Coming in ninth on the floor exercise (9.425), sophomore Sydney Intagliata added valuable points for the Vikings. 

Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger, state champions two years ago, earned a second place finish behind junior Alexis Eddy, who finished second on floor (9.575) and third on beam (9.400). Maria Trahin, a sophomore, finished ninth in the all-around (36.975) after coming in seventh in vault (9.475) and fourth on bars (9.525).

Senior Danielle Solis, part of Portage’s state championship team a year ago, earned first place honors on the floor exercise (9.750).  Fellow senior Alex Nickel of Angola won her second state balance beam title (her first came in 2012) with a score of 9.525.  Richmond’s Chasity Wampler capped her senior year with her first state title on a vault of 9.850; and sophomore Kylee Maxwell of Morgan Township earned the all-around title (37.800), after finishing in fifth in 2013.

42nd Annual IHSAA Gymnastics State Finals 
March 22, 2014
Worthen Arena, Ball State University, Muncie, IN

Final Team Scores
1. Valparaiso 111.850
2. Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger 111.225
3. Columbus North 109.900
4. Portage 108.575
5. Merrillville 107.425
6. Carroll (Fort Wayne) 105.275
7. Connersville 104.175
8. Columbus East 102.300
9. Jay County 101.250

State Champions
All-Around: Kylee Maxwell, 10, Morgan Township, 37.800. 
Vault: Chasity Wampler, 12, Richmond, 9.850.
Uneven Bars: Kylee Maxwell, 10, Morgan Township, 9.650.
Balance Beam: Alex Nickel, 12, Angola, 9.525.
Floor Exercise: Danielle Solis, 12, Portage, 9.750.

Angola's Alex Nickel named Ball Mental Attitude Award winner
Following the event, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Alex Nickel of Angola High School as the recipient of the Mildred M. Ball Mental Attitude Award.

The award is presented annually to a senior participant in the state finals who is deemed to have best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in gymnastics.

With a state title on beam and third place finish in the all-around, Nickel adds to an already impressive resume.  A champion on bars and beam in 2012, Nickel finished as runner-up in the all-around in 2012 and 2013.  She owns a 4.0 GPA, ranks 10th in her senior class, and is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Student Athletic Leadership Advisory Council. 

She is the daughter of Jeff and Kathleen Nickel of Angola and will attend the University of Michigan to study Pre-Medicine.

The Committee presented $1,000 to Angola High School's general scholarship fund in the name of Alex Nickel.

The mental attitude award is named in honor of the former IHSAA assistant commissioner who served the Association from 1977 to 1997. During her career, Ball administered the state gymnastics tournament among other sports and also oversaw the licensing and training of all contest officials in the state of Indiana.