The La Porte High School Slicers were proud to welcome gymnastics teams from area schools for their Gymnastics Pairs Invitational. Held each December, the festive holiday meet serves as both an introduction to the gymnastics competition season, as well as an athletic way to ring in the holiday season.
“Today was a good start to our gymnastics season,” said Angie LaRocco, coach for the La Porte High School team. “We started about where we ended last season, so that’s great. The girls have been doing a lot of off-season training and that’s really gotten them into a good place to start the season.”
“Today was the first day to make sure that everybody remembered their routines and put everything together. Next, we’ll be adding a few more skills on the bars and the beam, getting their confidence up and just sort of cleaning things up a bit,” said LaRocco.
The Slicers look forward to their first official meet of the season at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at Chesterton High School.
This year’s invitational was the first such event for Morgan Township High School.
“We had a blast!” said Fawn Spears, head coach for Morgan Township High School. “This event was super exciting! Our young ladies set this goal for themselves to come here and compete and we’re happy to celebrate the journey that brought us here.”
Kaitlyn Whitaker, a sophomore from Morgan Township, was proud of how her team did at the meet.
“It’s been a struggle to get gymnastics at Morgan Township. This is my first year competing and I’m just thrilled to be here with (my team mate) Emma Spears. It’s been such a geat experience for us.”
Whitaker said that she prepared for the event with weeks of practice routines and physical conditioning.
“Lots of practice, making sure that everything that we had was done right. Making sure that, if we fell during practice, we just got back up and did it again a few more times until we were ready,” said Whitaker.
“This is my first time coaching high school gymnastics,” said Liz Boehm, coach for the New Prairie Cougars gymnastics team. Boehm also coaches for Platinum Gymnastics of Michigan City.
Taking first place honors for this year’s Pairs Invitational was the team from Portage High School, Bobbie Russell and Payton Peele, who won with a 37.0 all around score. Crown Point High School placed second through fifth with Charlotte Annes and Kayla Ventura with a 34.8, Ysabel Maunes and Lilly Stoelb with a 34.65, Alana Lockhart and Sydney Reissman with a 33.9, and Bridget Godsen and Megan Pappenheim with a 33.35.
The Slicers placed eighth with the team of Rosie Korell and Ella Schable with a 32.7, Ava Penziol and Kate Thibideau placed eleventh with a 30.2, and Madison Esmeyer and Samara Hale placed thirteenth with a 29.7.
Boehm was impressed with how the event was handled by their hosts from La Porte.
“This was a very well-run event! We really didn’t know what to expect, but the girls did really well. We’ve got a little work to do, but we came here and we did our best and we got through it,” said Boehm.
- First place: Bobbie Russell and Payton Peele of Portage with 37.0.
- Second place: Charlotte Annes and Kayla Ventura of Crown Point with 34.8.
- Third place: Ysabel Maunes and Lilly Stoelb of Crown Point with 34.65.
- Fourth place: Alana Lockhart and Sydney Reissman of Crown Point with 33.9.
- Fifth place: Bridget Godsen and Megan Pappenheim of Crown Point with 33.35.
- Sixth place: Shelby Conrad and Ella Stokes of Portage with 33.25.
- Seventh place: Emma Spears and Kaitlyn Whitaker from Morgan Township with 33.05.
- Ninth place: Jenna Cruz and Maggie Underwood of Portage with a 32.05.
- Tenth place: Wrigley Barcelli and Taylor Pusateri with a 31.5.
- Eleventh place: Ava Penziol and Kate Thibideau of La Porte with 30.2.
- Twelfth place: Ava Jasnieski and Molly Lenig of New Prairie with a 30.5.
- Thirteenth place: Madison Esmeyer and Samara Hale of La Porte with 29.7.
Fourteenth place: Silvia Small and Ava Surratt with 18.9.
For more information about La Porte Slicers, visit them online at https://goslicers.com/