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Dragons, Hoffman enjoy state gymnastics experience

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MUNCIE — New Palestine’s return to the IHSAA state gymnastics meet as a team was successful in several aspects Saturday.

With their seventh-place finish, the Dragons achieved their goal of finishing ahead of at least one squad. And with it they improved upon what coach Jenny Musselman thought was a flat performance in the regional.

Senior Kenzi Hoffman even brought back a ribbon and will have a picture of herself standing on the podium at Ball State’s Worthen Arena to cherish after placing fourth on the balance beam.

And all five of NP’s senior gymnasts were able to compete in at least one event, in part as an appreciation by Musselman for their contributions to the program.

NP, ranked ninth in the final coaches poll, scored 104.625 points, more than a point better than what it scored in the regional when it finished second to Logansport.

“(Saturday) was actually a very good meet for us,” Musselman said. “With the pressure of state and the nerves and how loud the crowd is, all that coming together, they did very well. We just really wanted to be higher than eighth.”

Hoffman’s season-high 9.35 on the beam led the way for the Dragons. Her score equaled the second best of 52 competitors, but she fell on the short end of tie-breakers and was placed fourth. Top six are All-State.

“Coming in, I knew I had the potential to place, but I had to really hit it in order to place,” Hoffman said. “So I did enough to really know that I was going to place.”

This was the first time in Musselman’s six seasons as NP’s coach that a Dragon has placed in the state meet.

Hoffman was one of two from NP to perform the all-around, and she finished 15th with 36.2. She also scored 9.35 in the vault and received 8.9 in the floor exercise and 8.6 on the uneven bars.

While it was a remarkable day for Hoffman, a veteran of three state meets, she has scored higher. Her best on beam was 9.5 last year in the regional and she scored 9.475 on the vault in this year’s sectional.

Hoffman plans to attend Ball State but is undecided about joining its gymnastics team.

“Right now, it’s just mixed emotions and I’m both happy and sad at the same time,” she said. “It’ s just been a really good experience for me.”

Sophomore Kate Fee, poised to lead the Dragons the next two years, placed 26th in the all-around with 34.9 and put up consistent scores. Those were 8.975 on floor, 8.725 on the beam, 8.65 on the bars and 8.55 on the vault.

Senior Ciarra Hough earned one of NP’s two other 9-point scores, an even 9 on floor. She also scored 7.025 on a beam routine marred by a fall.

The Dragons’ other seniors to compete were Maddie Wallace (8.35 on vault), Shelly Huesman (8.1 on bars) and Julie Hilton (4.1 on bars), who was a late substitute.

“Oh my gosh, they’re the best group of seniors I’ve ever had,” Musselman said. “I start to fall in love with my senior every year, but they’re so close and they’re very talented. They have good personalities and they’re talented academically. I just can’t say enough good things about them. It is an honor to be their coach.”

NP’s program should be in good hands with returnees like Fee, junior Kylie Zehner (who scored 7.3 on the beam Saturday) and freshman Annabelle Dockins (9.125 on vault and 8.25 on floor).

“The kids were just ecstatic to go and it has brought a lot of attention to our program,” Musselman said. “I think more kids are start working to be on our team in years to come and hopefully keep our program at a high level.”

IHSAA Gymnastics State Finals results, Saturday at Ball State’s Worthen Arena:


School        Vault   Bars    Beam   Floor   Total      Place

Portage        29.200  27.500  27.200  28.700  112.600  1

Valparaiso      28.875  28.225  27.375  27.625  112.100  2

FW Dwenger   28.000  27.350  27.225  28.400  110.975  3

Columbus N. 28.025  27.200  26.950  27.700  109.875  4

Columbus E.   28.100  26.935  25.600  27.025  107.660  5

Logansport     28.125  25.950  26.250  25.425  105.750  6

New Palestine 27.025  25.350  25.375   26.875  104.625  7

Homestead     27.350  25.250  25.850  24.400  102.850  8



Gymnast         Grade  School        Score   Place

Mackenzie Barcelli   12   Portage       38.325    1

Alex Nickel        11   Angola        38.150   2

Morgan Algozine    12   Valparaiso      37.925   3

Kelley Platt         9   Logansport     37.200   4

Katy Linvill        11   FW Dwenger   37.150   5

Kylee Maxwell      9   Morgan Twp     37.150   5

Kenzi Hoffman     12   New Palestine   36.20   15

Kate Fee          10   New Palestine   34.90   26


Floor Exercise

Gymnast        Grade   School         Score  Place

Mackenzie Barcelli   12   Portage        9.675    1

Alex Nickel         9   Angola         9.625    2

Danielle Solis       11   Portage        9.600    3

Kaitlyn Coffee      12   FW Dwenger    9.550    4

Hannah Best        9   Crown Point    9.450    5

Alexis Eddy        10   FW Dwenger   9.425    6

Katy Linvill         11   FW Dwenger   9.425    6

Madison Kurtz      10   Portage       9.425   6

Ciarra Hough      12   New Palestine   9.000   22

Kate Fee          10   New Palestine   8.975   24

Kenzi Hoffman     12   New Palestine   8.900   27

Annabelle Dockins  9   New Palestine   8.250   43



Gymnast         Grade  School        Score  Place

Morgan Algozine    12   Valparaiso       9.875   1

Daniellle Solis       11  Portage         9.850   2

Chasity Wampler    11  Richmond       9.800   3

Emily Clancy       10  Columbus East    9.800   3

Kylee Maxwell       9  Morgan Twp    9.725   5

Madison Kurtz      10  Portage         9.700   6

Kenzi Hoffman      12  New Palestine    9.350   23

Annabelle Dockins  9  New Palestine    9.125   32

Kate Fee          10  New Palestine    8.550  43

Maddie Wallace     12   New Palestine    8.350  48


Uneven Bars

Gymnast         Grade  School         Score  Place

Morgan Algozine    12   Valparaiso       9.700   1

Mackenzie Barcelli  12   Portage         9.650   2

Alex Nickel        11   Angola          9.625   3

Lia Milroy          9   Valparaiso        9.600   4

Madison Kurtz     10   Portage         9.500   5

Daran Brady       12   Columbus East    9.400   6

Kate Fee          10   New Palestine    8.650  29

Kenzi Hoffman     12   New Palestine    8.600  31

Shelly Huesman    12   New Palestine    8.100  42

Julie Hilton        12   New Palestine    4.100  48


Balance Beam

Gymnast         Grade  School        Score  Place

Anna Watkin       9   Owen Valley     9.575    1

Mackenzie Barcelli   12   Portage        9.350    2

Kelley Platt         9   Logansport      9.350    3

Kenzi Hoffman     12  New Palestine    9.350    4

Sydney Huber     10   Connersville     9.275    5

Kylee Maxwell      9  Morgan Twp      9.225   6

Kate Fee          10  New Palestine     8.725   24

Kylie Zehner      11  New Palestine    7.300   51

Ciarra Hough     12  New Palestine     7.025   5

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