March 23, 2014

Logan gymnasts enjoy strong showing at state finals

Pomasl places 2nd on beam; Platt is 5th in the all-around.

By Beau Wicker Pharos-Tribune

---- — MUNCIE — While they did not come away with a state title, they were very close. And they will likely have two more shots at it the next two years.

Logansport’s dynamic gymnastics duo, the terrific tumbling tandem of Emily Pomasl and Kelley Platt, had a strong showing Saturday at the state finals at Worthen Arena at Ball State University.

Pomasl finished as the state runner-up in the balance beam, and Platt was third on both vault and floor, fourth on beam and fifth in the all-around.

“It was a great day overall,” Logan coach Dannan Mordenti said. “Being on the podium that many times is wonderful, especially coming in as sophomores. Just to be here two years in a row is awesome.”

Pomasl competed on just one event but made the most of it with her second-place finish on beam with a 9.45.

“I worked hard all week, I really did,” she said. “I came in here kind of knowing that I had a chance to place. Just getting second was just crazy. I was so excited, I was so happy.”

Pomasl was nearly flawless on the event. She only had a little wobble on one of her passes before catching her balance. She then stuck her dismount.

Angola senior Alex Nickel won the state title with a 9.525.

“Actually I had a little mess-up, which if I wouldn’t have messed that up I would have won,” Pomasl said. “But it’s whatever. It was a big step up from last year because I fell twice last year.

“I’m not going to complain.”

Platt competed in the all-around and had a fall on her first event — bars — that pretty much took any chance of the all-around state title out of the equation. She recovered with an 8.875 on the event.

“It started out rough but I came back pretty good,” she said. “I never really fall, it just happened. It happens all the time to everyone. So you’ve got to get back up and finish your routine, and I ended with a smile and I saluted the judges and walked off.”

Platt’s next event was beam, where she recorded a 9.35 for fourth place.

“On beam, I was kind of nervous, I was wiggly, but I pulled through for that,” she said. “I’m pretty happy with all my standings in the other events. It was just a good meet overall and it was good to be back again.”

Platt was nearly flawless on her next event, floor, where she had a 9.525 to tie for third place with Nickel. Portage senior Danielle Solis won with a 9.75.

“I had a good floor routine,” Platt said. “I took the mat away for my double full and I landed that perfect. And I finished my routine with a smile on my face again. It was just great, I got chills.”

Platt finished up on vault, where she soared high through the air on both of her attempts and stuck both. She was awarded a 9.675 for another third-place finish. The state title stayed in the North Central Conference, as Richmond senior Chasity Wampler won with a 9.85.

“She has a little higher difficulty. She starts from a 10, I start from a 9.8,” Platt said. “Her vault was flawless, it was really good. She has a nice block.

“It’s nice to be on that No. 1 podium but it’s still nice to be on the other podiums.”

Platt finished fifth in the all-around with a 37.425. Morgan Township sophomore Kylee Maxwell was the all-around state champion with a 37.8.

Platt finished just 0.375 behind Maxwell and her fall on bars was an automatic 0.5 deduction, so theoretically she would have won without the fall.

“It’s always up in there air,” Mordenti said. “That gives her something to come back harder with next year.”

The Berries were close, just like they were last week at the Valparaiso Regional. They will return all seven gymnasts who competed at the regional for next season.

They enter the offseason with the goal of winning the team state title next year.

“That’s our ultimate goal always at the beginning of every season,” Mordenti said. “We’ll come back next year and work even harder and hopefully be here next year.”

Valparaiso won its 10th state title and first since 2011 with a 111.85. Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger was runner-up with a 111.225, followed by a top six of Columbus North (109.9), Portage (108.575), Merrillville (107.425) and Fort Wayne Carroll (105.275).

Many of the Berries will compete in club gymnastics.

“We’re all going to work hard this summer and get back into it and be ready for next year,” Pomasl said.