by Beau Wicker
Logansport’s gymnastics program has had several state-ranked teams and many state finalist gymnasts.
But the Berries had never won a regional title or advanced to the state finals as a team — until Friday night.
The No. 10-ranked Berries made history by winning their first regional title in the sport, and they did so in convincing fashion, recording a 107.1 to defeat runner-up No. 9 New Palestine (103.5) by 3.6 points. Both teams advanced to next Saturday’s state finals at Ball State University.
No. 18 Franklin Central finished third (100.925), Noblesville was fourth (100.3), Lafayette Jeff was fifth (98.375) and Harrison was sixth (92).
Logansport’s fabulous freshman tandem of Kelley Platt and Emily Pomasl finished 1-2 in the all-around. Platt was the regional all-around champion with a 37.35, and Pomasl was runner-up with a 36.225.
Platt was also the regional champion in all four individual events, winning on vault (9.55), floor (9.45), beam (9.225) and bars (9.125).
“It’s very exciting,” she said.
Platt was also the North Central Conference and sectional all-around champion. Pomasl has been her top competition at all three events. Both enter next week’s state meet as contenders.
Pomasl was second on both vault (9.4) and bars (9.075), third on beam (8.55) and fourth on floor (9.2) at the regional.
“We were all pretty much on and supporting each other,” Pomasl said.
While the youngsters were putting on a thrilling show for the fans, the most amazing performance was put on by senior Morgan Kline. Less than four months removed from having surgery to repair a completely blown out left knee, Kline recorded a fifth-place finish on bars (8.55), the only event she could compete on due to her recent devastating injury that included a torn ACL.
“It’s seriously unbelievable. I’m speechless right now,” Kline said. “God works miracles, and I’m truly a miracle. It’s awesome. I’m speechless and I love it. It’s awesome.”
Kline talked about her lightning-quick comeback.
“I had to have such a positive attitude. I think believing in myself and telling myself I could do it every day ... before I went to bed every night I pictured my bar routine. The work was one thing, but believing in myself and not getting down and being very persistent about it is what did it, I believe. And I had so much support from my family and friends and teammates, too. They made the recovery a lot easier than what it could have been.”
When it was announced that Kline had finished fifth, which would have advanced her to the state finals regardless if she was on an advancing team, she was stunned.
“The waterworks started coming. I was like, ‘What?’” she said. “It’s unbelievable. I’m truly amazed. I’m truly blessed.”
Platt said that Kline’s effort this year has been an inspiration.
“Morgan Kline has inspired me throughout this whole season, since we started together. It’s great to be competing with her,” she said. “I’m also proud of her on bars. She stuck the landing.”
Pomasl said the season has already exceeded expectations.
“We didn’t expect this good, especially after Morgan got hurt,” she said.
The regional championship was truly a team effort. After Kline went down with her knee injury in November, the Berries needed gymnasts to step up, and they certainly did.
Logan sophomores Ashlyn Brown (8.175) and Maddy Rosenberger (8.15) placed fifth and sixth, respectively, on beam at the regional, meaning they, too, would have advanced to the state finals as individuals if they hadn’t been part of an advancing team.
Rosenberger also had an 8.9 on vault, and freshman Elizabeth Nies had a 7.9 on floor. Freshman Hannah Brandt recorded an 8.55 on vault and a 7.35 on floor to help set up the high scores by her teammates.
“They have done an amazing job,” Kline said. “This year’s team has been the best team I’ve ever been a part of. We’re so close and we’re all like sisters and we just keep encouraging each other to not give up and to believe. That’s been our big thing this year is to believe in ourselves.
“I’m so glad that it’s my senior year to be a part of this. They have big hopes for the future, and I’m just glad I was on the first initial one.”