March 7, 2014

No. 5-ranked Logan gymnasts gear up for tournament

No. 5-ranked Logan gymnasts gear up for tournament

By Beau Wicker Pharos-Tribune

---- — While Logansport’s girls basketball team just completed an exciting run to the semistate, the Berries also have a highly ranked gymnastics squad that is gearing up for a tournament run of its own.

The Logansport gymnastics team enters Saturday’s sectional ranked No. 5 in the state. The sectional gets underway at 11 a.m. Saturday at Lafayette Jeff.

While this year’s sectional will have more teams in the field than it did a year ago, the defending champion Berries still enter as the big favorite.

“We’ve seen every team that will be there and looking at scores we do have a significant jump over a lot of them,” Logan coach Dannan Mordenti said. “It’s our practice for next week’s regional because we did change regionals.”

The top three teams will advance to next week’s Valparaiso Regional which promises to have a loaded field.

The Berries placed sixth at last year’s state finals and have their top two gymnasts back for their sophomore seasons, Kelley Platt and Emily Pomasl.

Platt enters the sectional tied with Portage senior Danielle Solis for having the highest all-around score in the state this season at 38.25.

Pomasl’s top all-around score of 37.7 is the sixth highest recorded in the state this season.

“Emily and I both have some new skills so we have our difficulty higher than last year,” Platt said. “We have some girls that are helping pump up our scores. We just have to keep it consistent.”

The Berries posted a school-record 110.9 on Feb. 15 at the Logansport Invitational. That score stands as the third highest score in the state this season.

“It was a really big accomplishment for our team,” Pomasl said. “We’ve had some girls step up this year so that’s helped a lot.

“When you have one of the highest scores in the state, when we’re up near Valpo, Fort Wayne Dwenger, Merrillville and Portage, it’s kind of cool just to be up there with them.”

While Platt and Pomasl have improved since last season, the Berries have also got a boost from freshman all-arounder Alexa Abbott. They’ve also had specialists step up including Hannah Brandt on vault, Ashlyn Brown on beam, Elizabeth Nies on floor and Maddy Rosenberger on vault and beam.

“We’ve put in a lot of work in the offseason at our club gyms and we have a freshman this year, Alexa Abbott, who’s done so well. Hannah Brandt has really done this year as well,” Pomasl said. “We’re actually practicing a lot harder this year and practices are more intense and not laid back. We’re working on fixing things.”

Mordenti added, “They definitely are growing and they have so much talent and ability to be No. 1 or No. 2 in the state.

“I think the first year coming in we were very, very young. We had all freshmen and a couple sophomores and one senior, so it was just a little bit different. It takes a little bit of growing and they’ve learned a lot of new skills and they’ve perfected their old ones so that definitely helps with scoring, critiquing and composition.”