March 19, 2014

Berry duo look to be contenders at state meet

Logansport's Platt, Pomasl gear up for state finals

By Beau Wicker Pharos-Tribune

---- — While they would prefer to compete there with their teammates, Logansport’s Kelley Platt and Emily Pomasl can still achieve a lot at Saturday’s state gymnastics meet.

The state finals get underway with opening ceremonies at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Worthen Arena at Ball State University in Muncie. Competition begins at 1 o’clock.

Platt is a contender for the state title in the all-around. The sophomore finished runner-up to Morgan Township sophomore Kylee Maxwell last Friday at the Valparaiso Regional. Maxwell won with a 38.175 and Platt was runner-up with a 38.025.

Though each of the regionals could have been judged differently, Maxwell and Platt enter the state finals having recorded the highest all-around scores in the state out of the three regionals. Portage senior Danielle Solis, who was third at the Valparaiso Regional with a 37.875, is also one of the top contenders.

Hamilton senior Alex Cool was the Huntington North Regional champion with a 37.875, and Columbus North sophomore Katrina May was the Columbus East Regional champion with a 36.925.

Platt is rock solid in all four events and could be in contention in all of them. A top six finish in each event earns a spot on the podium.

“I just have to stay focused on myself and I’m not going to worry about what everyone else is doing,” she said. “I need to stay focused and just hope for the best.”

Platt finished fourth in the all-around at state last year as a freshman. It was the best-ever finish by a Logansport gymnast at the state finals.

She’s hoping to have an even better showing on Saturday.

“I just feel more prepared than last year,” she said. “I know what to expect from all the judges, I know what other girls have. I just feel real prepared.”

Pomasl is also a standout all-around gymnast but will compete on just one event at state this year, balance beam. The good news is that beam is her best event, she said.

The sophomore could be in contention on beam with a good showing.

“That’s all I’m going to practice this week is beam and hopefully I can fix some things and fix some corrections I messed up at regionals and hopefully stick it at state,” she said.

The No. 5-ranked Berries, who finished sixth at state last year at a team, missed out on a repeat appearance by one spot at the Valparaiso Regional, where they finished fourth with a 107.925. That same score would have gotten them a second-place finish at the other two regionals.

Instead, three Duneland Athletic Conference teams got to advance out of Valparaiso Regional, and the North Central Conference champion Berries had to settle for two individuals moving on, although they were proud of how they competed as a team.

“We did have a really good meet,” Pomasl said. “There was really nothing more we could do. It’s up to the judges to decide who goes and what scores we get. We did what we could do.”

All seven gymnasts that competed for the Berries at the regional will be back next year, so the future remains bright.

“You live and learn and you move on,” Logan coach Dannan Mordenti said. “You just come back stronger next year. I told the girls that you just have to let it go and next year we’ll come back even stronger.”