We placed 1st at our Regional meet this past Saturday. This was a tough meet as Northville was moved to our regional from the Southern region this year. We have been neck and neck with them the entire season. In addition, both the Lakeland- Milford team and Grosse Pointe North were capable of hitting in the 140’s. Not only did this make it harder as a team, it also made it harder for individuals to advance to the State meet next week as there were 30-40 more gymnasts as compared to last year. With that in mind, I was real proud of the team hitting their highest score of the season and with the number of individuals who made it individually. The team won it’s 6th consecutive Regional title as it heads into the state meet at Rockford next weekend.
This team has really come together. We have had some bumps along the way, but I am proud of how each individual has not only physically trained hard, but how they have gelled as a team. The group was very focused at the meet and in a good mood. They knew we had to fight for every point as they were well aware of the competition. The team is a great mix of older and younger teammates getting on the same page. I like the fact that they are competitive.
As a team, we try each year to put us in a position to do well at States. We have reached that goal. It hasn’t been an easy goal as there are 4-5 teams that are scoring in the same range. We have played those teams tough each time we have faced them. It has been very close at some of the Invites that we have won and it was close when we lost to Rockford at their invite. I do know that this team will put up a good fight each and every meet. That is what we need to do at States. We need to go hard and take care of what we can do and not worry about other teams – then see where we are standing at the end of the meet- that is all I can ask for as a coach. Nothing is guaranteed in any sport at this level
Elisa Bills fought her way back from a possible season ending injury suffered a month ago at the Milford Invite. While she wasn’t 100% back, she was remarkably close. If I were betting that she would be back this quick after seeing her knee cap displaced after a fall on floor, I bet she would be back on maybe some of the events, but not all of the events. In addition to her knee cap she had some medial ligament damage. She threw her first floor routine just this past Wednesday at practice since the injury. She is such a natural athlete, and that along with her competitiveness, helped her become the Regional Champ in the all-around competition this year ( She was the regional champion and state champion in the all around last year) . It is a great come-back story. In addition to the all-around title, Elisa won vault and bars. During the meet I was just hoping she would qualify for States in the all-around as this would give us another week to get back into shape. I just couldn’t believe she won the meet. Not only did she win the D-2 title, she also beat out the D-1 all around top score. What an athlete.
Kacey Noseworthy was only 0.125 of a point behind Elisa and finished second in the entire meet- including the D-1 gymnasts. Kacey had a look of calm confidence all during the meet. She is that kid on the playground that you want on your team because you know she is going to give you everything she’s got each and every day. Kacey won the beam and floor competition. Kacey too has a shot at being amongst the top D-2 gymnasts in the state this year. She has done it at some big invites this year so I know what her potential is. She too is a great comeback story. She told me during the meet that a year ago to the day she suffered a season ending ACL injury. She never made it to the regional meet last year. For 6 months she did her physical therapy and returned at the beginning of the season. I didn’t know what to expect after an ACL tear. Again, I am shocked to see her come this far in such a short time.
As they were giving awards in the all-around I soon found out that we took 5 of the top 6 spots in the all around. The top 6 advance to the state meet. To me, this is the truest test of a complete gymnast as they must do well in all 4 events. Despite the tough competition I couldn’t have been prouder to see so many of our gymnasts on the podium. In addition to Elisa and Kacey, Ava (4th), Allie (5th) and Sydney (6th) in the all-around. Ava placed 3rd on beam and 5th on Vault. Allie tied Ava for 5th on Vault, 6th on bars, and 7th on beam. Sydney placed 2nd on bars and 8th on beam.
I can always count on Ava to go hard as she does so on a daily basis. She can beat herself up at times but she is learning each year to become a better athlete physically and mentally. She makes this team a tougher team when she is on top of her game. She too can do well at states next weekend.
Both Allie and Sydney Schultz proved their toughness this season. I knew they were good athletes when they joined the team. Over the course of the season they have added higher level tricks. I think the thing that I like is the fact that they too like to compete. For a pair of freshman to walk onto a very talented team and accomplish what they have accomplished is remarkable. They have a lot of potential in the future.
Emily placed second on floor with a high energy routine that just captures your attention. She is the spirit of this team. She is such a positive, giving person. She has made incredible strides in her career to help lead this team the past few years. She just placed 9th in the all around, just missing going to states in the all around by 0.525 points. It was a tough day for her, but I need that spirit from her for team competition at States on Friday, as well as individual completion on Saturday.
Shelby placed third on bars and 8th on floor. She is valuable because she has the potential to hit great scores on bars, beam, and floor. She has really pushed herself hard this past year to get to this point. The more confidence she gains, the better gymnast she is becoming.
Sophomore Lily Tyler just missed qualifying on vault as she missed by .05 points. Lily became one of our top 6 vaulters this year by learning a handspring vault with a full twist. In the middle of the season we needed one or two vaulters to step up their game on vault and she came through. She has a lot of future potential on several events.