by Beau Wicker
Though her senior season certainly has not gone as planned, Logansport’s Morgan Kline has made the best of a bad situation.
Less than three months after having surgery to repair a left knee that blew out, Kline was competing on senior night for the Logan gymnastics team on Wednesday night.
Kline was only able to compete on bars and had to do an abbreviated dismount because of her knee, but she was still able to place fourth in the event with a 7.9.
“I never expected I would be back this early, so I’m beyond thankful,” Kline said. “I’m just so blessed and thankful I get to come back. I couldn’t have done it without all the support I’ve had — my friends, my family, my mom and dad, my teammates especially, my coaches. They’ve been with me every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without them. Trainer Tom [Evanich] has been there for every one of my needs. Thank you to him. I’m so happy, I’m beyond blessed and happy, that’s all I’m feeling right now.”
As for her performance, Kline said, “I’ve only had about 12 days of practice, so I haven’t had too much time back in the gym. My goal by sectional time is a fly away, just a simple fly away, and hopefully I can get my skills a little bigger and nicer with more practice time.”
Kline’s presence on bars could help the Berries reach their goal of advancing to the state finals for the first time as a team.
Kline competed at state as a sophomore and finished sixth on beam and 15th on vault. The all-around standout put in a lot of work this offseason and was doing the best gymnastics of her life before suffering her severe knee injury, which included tearing her ACL.
So it was an emotional night for the Berries. In fact, they could not contain their emotions afterwards. But they were still able to easily defeat Marion 107.425-88.1.
The Berries have been able to excel without Kline, as they’re ranked No. 8 in the state. The 107.425 was their high score for the season and the sixth best in the state this year.
They’ve been able to do so largely because of freshman standouts Kelley Platt and Emily Pomasl.
Platt broke her own school record in the all-around with a 37.675, which is the seventh highest score in the state this season. Pomasl was second with a 35.875, and she won on vault with a 9.3.
It does not take much math to figure out that if Kline was fully healthy and able to compete in the all-around, the Berries would be a state championship contender.
“We definitely would have,” Kline said. “We definitely would have been taking names this year. But everything happens for a reason, and I still believe there’s a strong chance we can go to state if everybody’s on.”
Platt did Kline’s floor routine in honor of her on senior night.
“Kelley Platt coming in and doing Morgan’s floor routine, kind of walking in her footsteps, that really teared us all up,” Logan coach Dannan Mordenti said.
Said Kline: “Oh my gosh, it brought instant tears. ... It was beautiful. I loved it.”
Platt said she was happy to honor Kline.
“She worked really hard to do that routine in the beginning of the season and she was so excited to do it, and then of course her injury happened. So I had an idea to do her routine and surprise her,” she said. “She was very proud that I did it and it was just very emotional for all of our team. It’s just bittersweet.
“It was really good to have her back on the bars.”
Kline is the senior leader of a young team and reached her goal of a quick return for senior night from a devastating injury.
“I was there when she tore her ACL,” said Pomasl while fighting back tears, “watching her do her bar routine was very inspiring.”
Next up for the Berries is the North Central Conference meet on Saturday at New Castle, where they will be a favorite.