by Beau Wicker
All Logansport freshman Kelley Platt wanted to accomplish at the gymnastics state finals was to reach the podium in one event.
What she accomplished far exceeded that.
Platt recorded a fourth-place finish in the sport’s crown jewel — the all-around — at the state finals on Saturday at Worthen Arena at Ball State University.
It was the best-ever finish in the all-around at the state meet by a Logan gymnast.
Platt also medaled on beam with a third-place finish.
The top six finishers in each event and the all-around receive a state medal and reach the podium.
“There’s a lot of things going through my mind,” Platt said. “I placed on beam which is kind of shocking to me. It’s my second least event, bars is kind of my least.
“It’s just my first year so I know I have good experience for the next years coming up. It’s just very exciting.”
The Berries placed sixth as a team with a 105.75. Portage won the team state title with a 112.6, followed by Valparaiso (112.1), Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (110.975), Columbus North (109.875), Columbus East (107.66), Logan, New Palestine (104.625) and Homestead (102.85).
Platt recorded a 37.2 in the all-around and a 9.35 on beam. She also placed ninth on bars (9.325), 11th on vault (9.575) and 26th on floor (8.95).
She recorded a fourth-place finish in the all-around despite a fall on floor on her final pass, which was an automatic five-tenths deduction.
“I’ve had plenty of falls in the past, but I know when I go back to club and practice I know what to fix,” she said. “It was disappointing when I fell, but I just had to get back up and finish my routine.”
Portage senior Mackenzie Barcelli was the all-around champion with a 38.325. Angola junior Alex Nickel was second with a 38.15, and Valparaiso senior Morgan Algonzine was third with a 37.925.
“There are girls that placed above me that had higher difficulty,” said Platt, a Level 9 gymnast in club. “It wasn’t even my best meet, either. But I’m still proud of myself and I’m proud of the team, especially.”
It was the Berries’ first-ever state finals appearance as a team.
“Finishing sixth is amazing,” Logan coach Dannan Mordenti said. “We were happy with whatever we got our first time in the tournament. Going to state as a team is our biggest accomplishment. I’m very, very proud of what the girls have done. I’m very, very impressed that Kelley placed.”
Logan freshman Emily Pomasl finished 24th in the all-around with a 35.1. Pomasl, who was instrumental in the Berries winning their first-ever regional title last week, started her day with a fall on her dismount on bars for an 8.375. She then fell twice on her difficult beam routine — an event she closes out for the Berries — for an 8.5. But she recovered with a solid floor exercise for an 8.725 before finishing strong on vault for a 9.5, which placed her 14th on that event, her best finish of the day.
The Berries had a particularly strong showing on vault and beam. Maddy Rosenberger had a 9.05 on vault, and Hannah Brandt posted an 8.525 on the event. Rosenberger had an 8.4 on beam, and Ashlyn Brown recorded an 8.325.
Morgan Kline posted an 8.25 on bars. Though she wasn’t quite as sharp as she was a week ago at the regional, it was still remarkable considering she had surgery to repair a torn ACL, MCL, LCL and both meniscus in her left knee just four months ago. With a fully healthy Kline, the Berries would have contended for the team title and would have had a good shot at a top three or four finish.
Rosenberger had a 7.9 on bars. Elizabeth Nies recorded a 7.75 on floor, and Brandt had a 7.5 on the event.
Gymnastics is an emotional sport, and the Berries were emotional following the event.
“We’re all happy. We’re crying and everything,” Platt said. “When Morgan landed that bar routine, even when she saluted for the judges, it was all coming down.”
Kline was the lone senior to compete on the night for the Berries, who featured four freshmen and two sophomores in their lineup.
“We’ll hopefully have some good freshmen coming in next year, and we’re going to build on what we have and hopefully get new skills next year for everybody,” Mordenti said. “They have this offseason to get ready and next season, and they’ll come back even stronger next year.”